PARENTS are urged to be watchful of their children’s online activities as internet threats against Philippine homes rise, according to a study by a global cybersecurity company.
Kaspersky Lab confirmed that 82.46 percent of web threats from January to December 2018 have attempted to attack home users in the Philippines.
It identified mobile malware, banking Trojans, coin miner, adware and riskware as among the web or internet-borne threats that have been trying to attack computers of Kaspersky users in the Philippines.
Kaspersky also recorded an over 230 percent increase in annual web-based infections in the Philippines at 31.8 million in 2018, compared to 9.48 million in 2017.
These web threats were scanned and blocked by Kaspersky Lab products when its users accessed websites or downloaded online files.
The company highlighted the need for parents to keep a closer eye on their children’s activities as young Filipino children are exposed to internet activities.
“The younger set is undeniably the most connected of all age groups today. Some even have their digital presence laid down long before they are even born—the consequence of our inherent nature of sharing that has crossed over to the internet world,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia, in a statement.
“And when these kids get older, they exhibit curiosity, another primitive instinct, but which they do online albeit carelessly. Just as the internet has been used to empower individuals, communities and nations, so too can it be used to destroy reputations, steal identities and hurt the vulnerable, particularly our children,” he added.
About 33.39 percent of the Philippine population currently make up the zero to 14 age group while 19.16 percent comprise the 15 to 25 age bracket, according to data portal IndexMundi.
Kaspersky revealed that the following categories of websites were the most popular among Filipino children, which they have either visited or attempted to visit from their computers: software, audio and video at 42.04 percent, internet communication sites (social networks, messengers, chats and online forums) at 29.17 percent, e-commerce (online stores) at 16.04 percent, news at 4.76 percent, and computer games at 3.76 percent.
“Gathered from May 2018 to May 2019, the report confirms that kids are now fast moving towards the use of mobile devices for their online activities instead of using computers,” Kaspersky said.
Yeo suggested that parents check on the daily online activity of their children, especially since there are now free basic services being offered online.
In the Philippines, mobile broadband is becoming more affordable than fixed broadband, and it’s one of the countries where Facebook offers its free basic service. This enables anyone in the country with an internet-ready mobile phone to access the web instantly and without limits.
Studies show that Filipinos surf the net from two to 10 hours daily.
Kaspersky Lab is offering parents a security solution dedicated for children’s online use.
“Kaspersky Safe Kids is one solution that empowers parents to be fully aware of their kids’ online activities without the need to check their devices frequently and still respecting the children’s privacy,” said Eunice Quilantang, pre-sales manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia. (KOC)