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Parental Control Apps May Not Help in Shielding Teenagers From Cyber Threats

Teenagers may not be safe from cyber threats despite of the parental control apps

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Cyber Threats.
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Mobile apps designed to help parents keep their teenaged children safe from online predators may harm the trust between a parent and child, as well as reduce the child’s ability to respond to cyber threats, to researchers say.

The findings showed that the use of parental control apps was associated with teenagers experiencing more, not fewer, online risks, including unwanted explicit content, harassment, and online sexual solicitations.

“Parental involvement and direct supervision were both associated with fewer peer problems and less online victimisation for teenagers, but neither of these factors correlated with the use of parental control apps,” said Arup Kumar Ghosh, a doctoral student in the University of Central Florida.

Cyber threats may be ahead.
Cyber Threats Ahead.

“Our findings suggest that most parental-control apps are those that attempt to control what teenagers can do online, but ultimately do little to keep them safe online,” added Pamela Wisniewski, Assistant Professor at the University.

In another study, the team analysed 736 publicly posted reviews written by teenagers and younger children for parental-control apps available for download on Google Play.

They found that approximately 79 per cent of the reviews written by children rated the apps at either two stars or less out of a possible five.

It is because the apps were overly restrictive, were an invasion of their personal privacy, and supported “lazy” or bad parenting instead of improving communication channels between them and their parents.

Also Read: McAfee unveils refreshed cyber security solutions portfolio

The apps also prevented them from doing everyday tasks, such as homework assignments, and turned their parents into “stalkers.”

“Teenagers and even younger children told us loudly and clearly that they would rather their parents talk to them than use parental control apps,” Ghosh said.

By trying to completely shield teens from experiencing any and all online risks, some parents are keeping teens from developing the necessary coping mechanisms that they will need throughout their lives, the researchers suggested.

The results will be presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Montreal.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.  IANS

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Exposure to Smoke Linked with Respiratory Problems in Teenagers

Also, health professionals should educate teens on the dangers associated with tobacco use to prevent initiation

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Smoke
Second hand smoke linked to dry cough among teenagers. Pixabay

As little as one hour of exposure to tobacco smoke per week can increase the risk of having respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and a dry cough at night among teenagers, warns a study.

“There is no safe level of second hand smoke exposure,” said lead author of the study Ashley Merianos, Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US.

“Even a small amount of exposure can lead to more emergency department visits and health problems for teens. That includes not just respiratory symptoms, but lower overall health,” Merianos said.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, involved 7,389 non-smoking US teenagers without asthma.

smoke
A man smoking cigarette. Pixabay

The findings showed that teenagers exposed to just one hour of second hand smoke per week are 1.5 times more likely to find it harder to exercise and two times more likely to experience wheezing during or after exercise.

They are two times more likely to have a dry cough at night and and 1.5 times more likely to miss school due to illness.

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“Healthcare providers or other health professionals can offer counselling to parents and other family members who smoke to help them quit smoking, and parents should be counselled on how to prevent and reduce their adolescent’s second hand smoke exposure,” Merianos said.

“Also, health professionals should educate teens on the dangers associated with tobacco use to prevent initiation,” she added. (IANS)

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