February 7, 2023 is Safer Internet Day (SID) and consciously using the network is something that concerns everyone.
First of all the boys.
And this is to make the Internet a positive and safe place.
In recent years, in fact, the use of the network has increased by 4% and that of social media by 80%, driven by the restrictions of the pandemic which have led children to spend more time at home.
Kaspersky experts have analyzed the most frequent cyber-threats that mainly affect children and teenagers and provided some advice for protecting themselves.
Do not share personal information
Children of the Alpha generation are true digital natives: for them, smartphones and tablets are not just an alternative way to have fun, but they are the primary tools through which they learned to play, study and relate, even from an early age.
As demonstrated by the results of the survey commissioned by Kaspersky to Educazione Digitale, 55% of children aged between 5 and 11 already own a personal device and 20% use it for more than 2 hours a day.
It follows that
technological devices have increasingly become a primary tool for gaming and entertainment,
but it is essential to pay attention to how the little ones use it.
In fact, 40% of children are willing to share personal information because, even if it is virtual, they still consider it a friend.
The resulting risks are different, for example receiving messages from strangers with game proposals and challenges that could be dangerous and also have effects in the real world.
Risks that are becoming increasingly frequent in the gaming sector,
where cybercriminals are able to manipulate conversations in a very simple way, identifying children in general chat channels and then starting to send them personal messages to find detailed information.
Don't talk to strangers
The Internet and in particular the world of gaming as well as that of social media have undergone strong growth during the pandemic, offering the possibility of interacting with other people in a very difficult moment for the youngest.
In some cases, these interactions also hide a dark side: online predators or cyberbullies can pretend to be someone else by conveying inappropriate messages or asking to activate the webcam to chat in person up to real-life meetings.
According to Internet Safety 101, online gaming, for example, allows predators to share experience and gather information needed to gain the trust of younger users.
For this reason, parents should clearly explain to their children not to interact with people they don't know in real life.
Check your webcam settings
Today, with many devices—from laptops to tablets to smartphones—equipped with built-in webcams, reports of hacking are on the rise.
As noted by Business Insider, more than 4,500 webcams in the United States were hacked and their content streamed online last year.
Whether internal or external, any connected device, such as a webcam, microphone or audio device, could be controlled by criminals to exploit children and teenagers.
To limit this risk, you should use computer security software that periodically scans your system in real time for malware, ensure that the default “off” setting is enabled, and use physical protections such as a shutter or a piece of Scotch tape.
Check sites and e-mails to not be victims of online fraud
As online traffic increases, so do scams: the dangers range from identity theft to financial loss.
It's not always easy to spot a scam at first glance, so it's worth spending a little extra time and effort checking emails and websites before transferring money or entering credit card details.
For example, if children use their parent's smartphone or tablet, it is essential to disable "in-app updates" to prevent large purchases from being made without realizing it.
In the gaming field, however, a fairly widespread fraud is the loss of money or progress accumulated during the game,
Malware Masquerading as a Legitimate Application When
looking for alternative sources to download streaming apps or games, users can often encounter various types of malware, including trojans, spyware and backdoors, as well as malicious applications such as adware.
It is therefore important to be careful with the apps you download, because malware can be disguised as legitimate applications.
Between July 2021 and June 2022, 91,984 files including malware and potentially unwanted applications were distributed using popular game titles as bait, with 384,224 users affected globally.
Minecraft is an example of this: the famous sandbox game that has been one of the most popular titles in the world for over a decade has, in fact, conquered the first place among the most often used as bait.
"Today, the Internet is a concern for many parents because it has become the main source of information and entertainment for young people, but it hides serious risks: Safer Internet Day is therefore an opportunity to underline the importance of
educating the new generations to use it consciously and network secure
Precisely in this perspective of focusing on education, Kaspersky collaborates with the MIUR, in the development of the Safer Internet Center - Connected Generations project: it is a concrete testimony of Kaspersky's commitment in the educational process of the new generations, to help the most children to understand the dangers that the web can hide so as to allow the use of technologies in an aware and safe way.
The risks that young people may run into while browsing online are, in fact, constantly evolving, which is why it is important that children are informed and that adults are always updated on their children's online activities, establishing a dialogue on the use secure network,” said Cesare D'Angelo, General Manager Italy & Mediterranean at Kaspersky.