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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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Microsoft
Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with three out of five people globally having experienced one in the past year.

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.

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Next Story

US President Donald Trump Declares National Emergency Over Cyber Threats

The world's third largest smartphone maker, on the contrary, has repeatedly rubbished the allegations

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Donald Trump, Trolled, Twitter
Trump's remarks came a day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that US astronauts would not be able to make a lunar landing . VOA

With a motive to protect US communications network from “foreign adversaries”, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Wednesday.

The executive order gives the federal government powers to restrict US companies from doing business transactions with certain foreign tech suppliers “posing an unacceptable risk to the national security”, said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.

According to the statement, Trump signed the executive order as “part of his commitment to protecting the information and communications technology and services” of the US.

“The President has made it clear that this Administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, and to protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States,” said the White House statement.

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump earlier criticised social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter for anti-conservative bias. VOA

“This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States and delegates authority to the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security,’ it added.

If reports are to be believed, Trump’s order is directed at Chinese telecom major Huawei. US believes that Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for surveillance.

Also Read- EC Orders Twitter to Remove Exit Poll-related Tweets

The world’s third largest smartphone maker, on the contrary, has repeatedly rubbished the allegations.

Last year, Trump signed a bill that barred the US government and its contractors from using components from Huawei and several other Chinese communications companies. (IANS)