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Children Just Three Clicks Away from Watching Porn, Violence on YouTube

Update Date: Feb 07, 2013 03:33 AM EST
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Kids are just three clicks away from being exposed to adult content online like nudity and violence, says a new study.

The study was conducted by researchers from Kaspersky Lab. For the study, researchers examined the videos listed under suggestions on YouTube. They found that on an average, kids who were watching age-appropriate content on the site like Dora-the Explorer are just three clicks, on an average, away from finding content that is more suitable for an adult audience.

The study exposes the risks of letting children watch content on these sites without parental supervision. The sites have plenty of videos on the most disturbing car crashes, gang violence and nudity, exposure to which can affect a child's psyche. A previous study in the journal Pediatrics found that watching violence can affect kids' sleep.

There have been cases of children, barely in their teens, who have committed sexual abuse after watching hardcore porn online.

The digital divide has grown so wide between children and parents that according to a survey, 70 percent of parents are unaware of their kids' activity online. There is also this report that shows how teens hide their online behavior from their parents and how this affects their sexual behavior.

"It's worrying to see just how simple it is for children to access videos of an adult nature on YouTube. With younger generations becoming more IT literate and parents increasingly turning to mobile devices, online games and apps as a means of entertaining their kids, these results highlight the importance of taking steps to protect them online," said David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, in a news release.

Emm says that parents can follow some basic guidelines to ensure that the kids aren't exposed to inappropriate content while surfing the net.

  • Supervision- Always be around when your child is online. Encourage kids to stay on sites that you are familiar with.
  • Talk- often this is the best solution. Encourage your child to be open about his or her activities online and who they are socializing with. This will help you generate trust and bonding with your kids. Also, talk to them about potential dangers of talking to strangers online.
  • Use parental control- use parental control options to block the sites that you don't want your kids to be watching.

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