downloading & viruses
Children delight in the freedom the internet gives them to download any song, film or TV programme they want. Most of the content children download is under copyright, meaning it belongs to the person, group or company that created it and payment is usually required. Downloading also exposes you toand .
The risks of illegal downloading
The ability to download music and films on demand and share information is a great benefit of the internet, but keep the following information in mind:
Check what your children are downloading as the film and music industries monitor the internet for people downloading illegally and you’ll be held responsible for any illegal downloads your children make
By downloading material from illegal sites, children risk downloading viruses or spyware at the same time. They can also be downloaded from emails, pop-ups or sharing files as well as USB drives and connected devices
, , and can also be downloaded. These can do anything from taking control of your computer to slowing your device down
and are ways of getting hold of private information, either by sending emails pretending to be a genuine organisation such as a bank or building society or sending you to copies of genuine websites
websites usually need special software. If your children are using one to download illegal material you may find a related icon on the desktop.
How can I ensure my child accesses content safely?
Talk to your children about how to download safely and legally, and help them understand why it’s important to keep the computer free from viruses:
Make it clear that it’s illegal to download most films, songs and games without paying for them
Research any download site your child is using and check it’s legal and trustworthy
Point your children to secure sites where they can buy music and films, such as iTunes or Amazon. You can limit the amount they spend by getting them gift cards for a particular sum
Look into services such as Spotify (for music) or Netflix (for films) which allows unlimited
Check your child’s computer and deviceregularly for signs of illegal activity. A total lack of internet history may also be a sign of illegal activity
If an attachment seems suspicious, check with the person who sent it and scan it with appropriate antivirus software before opening it. Some software provides a list of reputable sources for downloading as well as flagging those known for harmful content
Check your bank accounts and all bills you receive for any signs of identity theft.
Internet security tips for parents
Following the links below can help you make sure your children download films and music legally and keep you up to date with internet security:
- Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (Oct 2014) p.74, Figure 41
- Cybersafe Opinion Leader Report (Sept 2013)
- Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (Oct 2014) p.182, Figure 137