Research shows widespread concern over the time children spend online

Buckinghamshire, UK – 6th September 2017: UK parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend online and using social media, research by cyber security company F-Secure has found. In a new survey of UK parents, 59 per cent of respondents said they worry that their children spend too much time online or on social media.

Worryingly, over a third of parents (37%) say that they do not know what content their children are accessing and a similarly high percentage (36%) stated they do not know who their children are communicating with online.

Family rules are still very much in force in most families, with only 2 per cent of parents saying they don’t have any. However, despite 72 per cent having guidelines for when bedtime is, a fifth (22%) admit to knowing their children are still online when they should be asleep.

The research also sought parents’ views on traditional parental controls available in their security software packages. The majority (56%) said they were not happy with the current solution they have in place. Four in ten (39%) cited the inability to adapt the settings for each child based on age appropriate content as an issue. Twelve per cent simply had not had time to set it up. Most concerning was that a fifth (19%) said they didn’t use parental controls because they felt they were not necessary, thereby giving their children unlimited access to online content.

F-Secure’s Family Rules

F-Secure now offers protection for the whole family with the latest version of its flagship products SAFE and TOTAL. The new Family Rules feature available in both products help families stay safe online by moderating harmful content and setting limits on screen time from any device in a way that encourages exploration and productive device use.

F-Secure SAFE provides comprehensive yet simple​ antivirus and Internet Security for all devices while F-Secure TOTAL offers the same award-winning protection along with F-Secure’s world-renowned FREEDOME VPN, which maintains privacy online while providing access to geo-blocked websites and services.

After extensive research into families’ digital behaviour, F-Secure recognised that while boundaries for children matter a lot in parenting. Most parents expect and enable their maturing digital natives to engage actively online with limited monitoring as if playing with toys alone in a room.

“Family Rules helps parents manage limits, filter content and locate their kids’ devices remotely, allowing them to parent their children online from wherever they are,” said Tom Gaffney, security advisor at F-Secure.

“By establishing boundaries for kids to explore within limits, TOTAL and SAFE allow parents to lead their children online, encouraging positive online behaviour without hovering over their shoulders,” he added.

The Family Rules feature is designed to be accessed by parents from any device, anywhere, at any time offering the ability to adjust the settings so internet use doesn't get in the way of homework, getting some fresh air or family time.

"Getting everyone together for dinner should be a lot easier when you can temporarily shut off your child's internet access from the kitchen," Gaffney said.

Family Rules in SAFE and TOTAL allow parents to:

  • ​Add a device wherever you are through the SAFE Home portal
  • Assign "adult" or "child" user roles to each user to grant appropriate access
  • Set up content filtering based on age categories unique to each child
Pricing & availability

F-Secure SAFE Internet security is now available for a free trial through F-Secure's e-store, and supports Windows PCs, Macs, and Android and iOS devices. Annual subscriptions start at £59.99 for 3 devices.

F-Secure TOTAL security and privacy is now available for a free trial through F-Secure's e-store, and supports Windows PCs, Macs, and Android and iOS devices. Annual subscriptions start at £79.99 for 3 devices.

Source: Family Rules Back to School Survey, conducted online by Vital/Relations Group between 18th August and 22nd August 2017. Data collected from 1,120 UK parents of children aged 3-18 years old.

More information:

F-Secure TOTAL

F-Secure SAFE

About F-Secure

Nobody has better visibility into real-life cyber attacks than F-Secure. We’re closing the gap between detection and response, utilizing the unmatched threat intelligence of hundreds of our industry’s best technical consultants, millions of devices running our award-winning software, and ceaseless innovations in artificial intelligence. Top banks, airlines, and enterprises trust our commitment to beating the world’s most potent threats. Together with our network of the top channel partners and over 200 service providers, we’re on a mission to make sure everyone has the enterprise-grade cyber security we all need.

Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. | |

F-Secure media relations

Adam Pilkey

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