Internet safety facts paint a bleak picture of the virtual world where typical American adults spend 25 hours a week. It’s even worse for children who can’t cope with problems like cyber bullying and adult material.
The U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that about 15 percent of children received sexual messages from strangers on the Internet. A full 35 percent also saw nudity or other sexual images online—and only 1 in 4 of these children told their parents that they had seen these pornographic images.
Those who don’t use anti-virus software—or who fail to keep it updated—are finding their computers unusable and their bank accounts empty. In 2005, almost 1.2 million successful attacks were recorded, with loses totaling almost a billion U.S. dollars.
In addition, Microsoft claims the total annual loses to phishing attacks exceeds 60 million dollars. Because phishing attacks fool consumers into giving away their passwords and other information, consumers can’t always recover the money they lose to the hackers.
According to the 2001 cyber thread trends report of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) averagely protected computers are hacked in about 8 hours. And in case a computer does not use any security software, it only takes 45 minutes for an attacker to infiltrate.
These were figures from 2001. You can assume that nowadays hackers need less time to hack a computer because predominantly automated attacks make use of computers with much more performance. For that reason I strongly recommend that you turn off your computer right after usage.
The Kidsafe website, a renowned authority, reports that 32 percent of children (particularly teens) are hiding or deleting their Web browsing history so their parents can’t see what they’ve been doing.
The same survey shows that 16 percent of teens have email addresses or accounts on social networking sites that they haven’t told their parents about. And those parental controls you paid for? Eleven percent of teens know how to turn them off.
Worse, many eleven and twelve year olds are forbidden by law or website policy from creating social networking website accounts because they’re too young—so the kids lie about their ages, but that often means they attract dangerous sexual attention from older children or even adults. And 28 percent of these “tweens” have been contacted. But the scariest of the Internet safety facts is that 11 percent of the tweens contacted by a stranger actually chatted with the stranger for an extended time.