Kids & downloading. Is it safe?


On the surface, the internet seems to offer anything and everything you might need – on demand and for free. Children and teens especially enjoy the benefits of being able to download any song, film, book, computer program or app they want. However, even the internet has its limitations.

What children consider free, might actually come at the price of being bundled with adware, spyware or other nasty malware, often designed to remain unnoticed for as long as possible. The consequences of such an infection can range from annoying ads and popups, through stolen personal details, to losing access to all your important data. And this doesn’t only apply to personal computers and laptops, but also to mobile devices, as malicious applications continue to sneak into even official app stores.

So what can you do to help your children avoid the pitfalls of downloading?

  1. Keep your operating system patched, and use a reliable internet security solution. Mobile devices running Android can be protected by a reputable mobile security solution. ESET will automatically run a scan on each downloaded file and block any malicious items, keeping your devices safe.
  1. When your children want to download new programs, direct them towards the websites of the software’s original developer or to official online stores. When sticking to official sources, you won’t need to worry about accidentally downloading any unwanted extras that might be lurking in the background.
  1. Teach your kids to stop and think before clicking on links and download buttons, as many can be deceptive, leading to scam or outright malicious websites.
  1. “If something seems too good to be true, it most probably is” should be the golden rule of any download to desktop or mobile. A good example is third party apps claiming to offer attractive additional functions to existing games or online services, only to display ads, or worse, infect your device with malware.
  1. Using a reputable parental control app will help keep an eye on your children’s downloading habits, and enable you to block potential problematic content. Parental control apps can also save you a considerable amount money that might otherwise be spent should your child accidentally make online purchases.

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