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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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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.

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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Most Teenagers Use Addictive Substances During Vaping, Says Study

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined patterns of youth vaping nicotine, marijuana, and just flavouring

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Teenagers
According to the researchers, due to the recent spate of vaping related lung injuries, calls for restrictions on flavoured vaping products and e-cigarette use have become more urgent especially Among Teenagers. Pixabay

Most of the Teenagers who do Vaping are using addictive or mind-altering substances than previously believed, according to new study.

The data paints a different picture than previous research because of the significantly higher proportion (75 per cent) of teens who vape using nicotine, marijuana, or multiple substances and not just flavouring.

“We found that youth were more likely to report vaping nicotine and marijuana than ‘just flavouring’ only, and that cigarette smoking intensity was associated with an increasing proportion of students reporting vaping nicotine only,” said study researcher Hongying Dai at University of Nebraska in the US.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined patterns of youth vaping nicotine, marijuana, and just flavouring in the past 30 days by analysing data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) cross-sectional study.

Of the 14,560 teens participating in that study, 12 per cent reported vaping within the prior 30 days, with 7.4 per cent using nicotine and 3.6 per cent, marijuana.

Of that group, only 24.9 per cent reported vaping just flavouring only, while a majority (75.1 per cent) reported vaping nicotine, marijuana, or multiple substances.

According to the researchers, current cigarette smoking intensity was associated with an increased risk of reporting Vaping all three substances.

Teenagers
Most of the Teenagers who do Vaping are using addictive or mind-altering substances than previously believed, according to new study. Pixabay

Compared with 8th graders, more 10th and 12th graders reported vaping nicotine, marijuana, and just flavouring during the study period.

Female students were also less likely to report vaping these three substances than male students.

Fewer non-Hispanic blacks reported vaping nicotine and just flavouring than non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics were also less likely to report vaping nicotine.

The prevalence of e-cigarette use among US youth increased dramatically during 2017-2019, partly due to the rising popularity of products with nicotine salt and pod-based products like JUUL, and a large number of flavours appealing to adolescents.

The nationwide increases in use led the US Surgeon General to issue an advisory about the epidemic in 2018, but much more needs to be done to reverse the upward trend.

Teenagers
According to the researchers, current cigarette smoking intensity among Teenagers was associated with an increased risk of reporting Vaping all three substances. Pixabay

According to the researchers, due to the recent spate of vaping related lung injuries, calls for restrictions on flavoured vaping products and e-cigarette use have become more urgent.

ALSO READ: Latest Google Chrome 79 Update Halts After Users Report Loss of Data

“Continuous surveillance of youth behaviours and strategies and interventions to reduce youth e-cigarette use are needed. The truth is that no form of tobacco is safe,” said study co-investigator Mohammad Siahpush. (IANS)