Protecting children from malware – resources and advice from the Industry Trust

By Internet Matters Team on

To help children understand the dangers of malware that may be downloaded through pirated material or illicit streaming devices, the Industry Trust partnered with Into Film to create this educational video to support them. We’ve also offered tips for parents on how to protect children from the potential dangers of malware.

It is a well-known fact that young people are spending more and more time online than ever before, and begin to use technology and social media at an increasingly early age. By the time they become teenagers behaviours have often already been entrenched in their minds and the idea of internet safety becomes harder to teach.

Partner this with recent research which has shown that an increasing amount of young people are being exposed to explicit images & video or becoming victims of hacking as a result of malwares, and the need to educate them in how to stay safe online becomes even clearer. This is something that the Industry Trust has long been focusing on, whether it is through campaigns or research projects.

What the research says

Some recent research from the Industry Trust which looks into children’s awareness of malware (malicious software that causes harm through obtaining personal information) and its consequences raised some alarming findings as highlighted below:

Nearly one in ten (9%) young people have been personally affected by malware.

41% of 11-15 year olds stated they were aware that downloading or streaming films and TV programmes from illegal sites could result in viruses or malware ending up in their devices.

It was with this mind-set that the Trust recently collaborated with the charity Into Film to produce a bespoke animation, ‘Meet The Malwares’, which features case studies detailing the all-too-real scenarios that young people can experience when it comes to the unwanted sharing of private images and online extortion.

Tips to protect your child from malware

Put in place a family agreement to help your child understand what is acceptable online behaviour and when it is safe to open or download files.

Knowing what they do online will help you to understand where the potential risks are and step in to offer support and guidance.

Using digital tools like network controls on broadband, antivirus programmes on devices and privacy settings on social apps can help limit the potential of your child being exposed to something that they may not be ready for and act as the first line of defence to keep them safe online.

Show them how to use report tools to flag inappropriate content on the platforms they use. Give them support on what to do if they are faced with a difficult situation online to give them the confidence to deal with it and build their digital resilience.

Talking about what they do on an ongoing basis and keeping the lines of communication open will help them feel more confident to share if they have a concern online.

more info

Download resource: Staying Safe Online: Meet the Malwares

Visit Into Film