08 Feb 2012

A quarter of kids have downloaded a virus

Internet security is especially important during the younger years of a child's life, and that is evident when looking at the result of a survey from a security company. The survey said 25 percent of kids between the ages of 7 and 16 have accidentally downloaded a virus or accessed adult content online.

Seven- and 9-year-olds were the most likely to download viruses, and a third of each age group said they have clicked through inappropriate content. About 47 percent of 14-year-olds and 36 percent of 15-year-olds reported they had accidentally downloaded malicious content to computers, a bigger figure than any other age groups.

A story by The Associated Press said parents and children both regularly participate in risky behavior online. The story cites a survey by GFI Software that shows that 80 percent of parents said they have antivirus software, but a quarter said they don't update it. Just less than a quarter of teens said they visit websites meant for adults.

"Given the potential ramifications of improper internet use today, it would seem to merit at least the same degree of educational vigilance as other lifestyle risk categories like sex, drugs and alcohol," the report said. Parents and children should learn about internet security and practice safe behavior online.