Online Dangers to Kids Go Beyond Inappropriate Web-Site Content
Common Sense Media and Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families team to educate parents, educators and youth on both Web site age-appropriateness and Internet security issues
Trend Micro Incorporated (TSE: 4704), a global leader in Internet content security, and Common Sense Media, a leading nonprofit organization working to improve the impact of media on kids, announced today a partnership that will help parents, educators and youth better understand how to get the most out of the Web’s potential to inspire creativity, collaboration, and learning, as well as raise awareness on Internet security issues such as cybercrime, identity theft, spam, spyware and adware.
Common Sense Media provides parenting tips on media use and trustworthy reviews of media and entertainment based on child development criteria. Together with Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families, part of Trend Micro’s Global Citizenship Program, this complementary partnership is intended to raise awareness and provide education to parents, educators, and youth so that young people can use the Internet safely and to its fullest potential.
“One of Common Sense Media’s goals is to raise a generation of kids who, as they create and consume media online, are safe, smart, and ethical,” said Jim Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media. “Partnering Trend Micro’s technical expertise in the area of Internet Safety with our best practices will help parents and kids gain the skills needed to make the most of our 24/7 digital media culture.”
While many parents know about online dangers in the form of inappropriate Web-site content, cyber-bullying or online predators, Trend Micro threat researchers are reporting a less well known rise in “good” Web sites that secretly hide “bad” code planted by profit-driven cybercriminals as a way to infiltrate a user’s computer and steal personal data such as social security numbers, bank account information and credit card numbers.
Social networking sites, for example, are hugely popular among nine to 17-year-olds, many of whom reportedly spend just as much time visiting these sites as they do watching television. Despite their popularity, these sites are usually built upon Web 2.0 technologies and are prime targets for cybercriminals and malware authors who exploit their interactive nature to launch malicious attacks. According to Trend Micro’s recent Threat Report & Forecast, Web 2.0 threats spiked, in volume, to over 1.5 million a month in January 2008 compared to just over 1.0 million in December 2007.
Cybercriminals have also used “typo-squatting” to lure unsuspecting visitors to malicious Web sites when they accidentally misspell a URL. In the past, children have been ensnared without their knowledge and directed to pornographic sites.
“Even if a young person is never approached by online predators or taunted by cyber-bullies, there are still risks involved in Web surfing that may not be apparent to either themselves or to their parents,” said Lynette Owens, director of community outreach for Trend Micro and cyber-mom. “Our hope is that by partnering with Common Sense Media, a national organization renowned for its reviews which examine Web content and the age-appropriateness of each site with critical eyes, we will be able to show parents how to consider both the substance and the security of the content they are viewing online.”
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