Interviews

Family measures

by Mark Rowe

The bring your own device – BYOD – trend shows no sign of abating. According to an IT security firm, mobile security has never been more important, especially as the number of devices able to access the internet continues to grow.

According to F-Secure’s 2012 survey of broadband subscribers, security and family protection were the top concerns among respondents, with around half of those surveyed admitting they feel vulnerable to potential malicious links and are concerned about their privacy, especially when making purchases online.

F-Secure has launched a new version of its Mobile Security, which supports Android devices including TVs and set-top boxes and comes with what the firm calls a renewed commitment to family protection measures.

Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure Labs spoke on the thinking behind the release stating that until now Android malware has mostly been encountered when users download innocent-looking yet harmful “free apps” from various app stores, but increasingly “Android users will be more likely to be intentionally targeted in clean, trusted areas of the web.”

Separately a One Poll study of 2,000 parents of children aged five to 15 shows six parents in ten frequently let their child surf the web without any adult supervision. Two thirds of parents still admit they think the internet poses more of a threat today than five years ago. And while parents are worried about what their children are looking at, half haven’t taken any sort of preventative measures, to ensure their child can’t access inappropriate content. According to the IT security firm McAfee these measures could include tools to manage the amount of time a child spends on the internet, block inappropriate content and filter explicit language. A third of parents are even shirking responsibility, claiming the media should be responsible for educating children how to stay safe online.

Raj Samani, CTO at McAfee EMEA, said: “Today it is not uncommon to see children or even toddlers playing games on a parent’s smartphone or tablet device. Children are increasingly technology savvy, yet their perceptions of danger are not fully developed. It’s crucial for parents to educate their children about how to stay safe online and also make sure that they have the appropriate blocks and controls installed on any device that might be used by a child.”

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