Brits are losing interest in parental control apps, exposing not only their children but also their own electronic devices to malware.
That’s according to a new NordVPN report, which states that downloads of the UK’s most popular parental control and monitoring apps fell by 1% in the first quarter of 2023.
VPN experts analyzed download data for Microsoft Family Safety, Google Family Link, Qustodio Parental Control App and FamiSafe-Parental Control App and raised the alarm after seeing a drop. To put this into perspective, these apps saw a 41% increase last year. Compared to 2021, the downloads of these five apps fell by 2.40%, the researchers further stated.
Just like the flu
By losing interest in parental control apps, parents are exposing not only their children to various digital threats, but also their own devices, files and digital identities.
As explained by NordVPN CTO Marijus Briedis, the problem with malware is that it can quickly travel from an infected child’s device through the home router to otherwise protected endpoints. Even if it only stays in the router, it’s still a serious risk:
“Parents forget that malware epidemiology works just like flu or coronavirus: even if you are careful and take protective measures, you can still get sick from a child who is not necessarily as careful as you are,” said Briedis.
He added: “Equipping your devices with cybersecurity solutions or trying to avoid malicious content and apps is a good first step, but you should also keep track of your children’s online behavior and take other protective measures. Your home network is only as secure as its most vulnerable. Hi.”
To stay safe, parents should make sure that their children’s devices are properly protected, and also remember to update the router software regularly and change the network name, also known as the SSID, from time to time.
“Most importantly, you need to protect all connected devices, especially those used by children,” Briedis concluded.