Technology, UAE

Summer heat increases UAE kids’ time on their devices: study

With schools closed over the summer, young children and teenagers will spend most of their time on their devices – increasing their average online activity to eight hours per day, a recent study highlighted.

According to a study commissioned by McAfee, 1 in 5 parents (18 percent) never monitor what their children are doing online. McAfee noted that children spend the majority of their time on their devices, which may include gaming devices, smartphones, laptops, desktops, virtual assistants, etc.

The McAfee study also highlighted that 86 percent of parents allow their children to play online games recommended for older children.

Deepak Bhatia, Co-founder, iLIFE Digital Technology said, “We are increasingly seeing news reports on how kids and teens are vulnerable in the online world. With them spending so much time on their devices. We have collaborated with McAfee, we want parents to realise the dangers and to offer them a safer digital experience.”

i-LIFE Digital Technology, a developer for innovative technologies recently partnered McAfee’s security software to provide children of this digital age a safer digital experience; advises parents 10 ‘must-do’ cyber safety tips to protect their kids this summer:

  1. Start conversations early and discuss how hackers steal and misuse data using infected links and phishing emails and what they can do with the data. Share stories about fake social profiles, kidnappers etc. and outline the consequences of connecting with strangers, even if it is a person of their own age.
  1. Keep location services off when not needed
  2. Share with care. Routinely scrolling, liking, and commenting on social sites such as Snapchat and Instagram can give kids a false sense of security (and power). Remind tweens and teens to share responsibly. Oversharing can damage a reputation and words or images shared callously can damage other people.
  3. Cybercriminals can use the popularity of video games to entice gamers to click on potentially malicious links. Remind them not to open email attachments or video/ message links. Try to limit or have anonymous profiles when playing online.
  4. Be suspicious of emails that have their name wrong or have spelling errors like ‘,’ Do not click on websites if they don’t start with ‘https’
  5. Use 2-factor authentication to make their account security stronger and change passwords regularly.
  6. Be suspicious of duplicate/ fake friend requests on social media.
  7. Repeat often the cybersafety mantra- STOP.THINK. SHARE. Ask them if they have faced social media issues like cyberbullying, fake news, cyberstalking and converse how these need to be tackled
  8. Unplug and control how much time they spend on their device. Establish tech-free family activities this summer.
  9. Always protect and upgrade the software security.

“Protecting every PC, Tablet and mobile you own is absolutely essential today,” said Jesus Sanchez-Aguilera, Head of EMEA Consumer. “It is not possible to stop a child/teen of this digital age from using his/ her device but we could adopt a more proactive approach in protecting them and managing their online activity.”

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