Advice Column, Parenting, Tech

Kaspersky Safe Kids helps track missing teen!

Cyber predators, child trafficking, cyber bullies, children running away – the list of worst nightmare situations parents face is not easy to digest. In fact, it is estimated that a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa. So, what happens if your worst nightmare scenario comes true? And more importantly, what proactive measures have you taken now to ensure you have mitigated as many risks as possible?

Northern Gauteng mother, Lida Erasmus, experienced her worst nightmare recently when her teenage daughter went missing, leaving her and her family worried sick especially as they were not able to reach her. “A few weekends ago, our daughter ran away with an unknown young male. Being completely out of her character and as her mobile phone was switched off, as any parent can imagine, I was going out of my mind, thinking the worst and feeling absolutely helpless. I really didn’t know what to do,” said Erasmus.

However, being a parent in the digital age, Lida has always taken appropriate security measures when it comes to her family’s mobile devices and had installed the Kaspersky Safe Kids app onto her daughter’s mobile phone when she first received it.

Remembering the installed app, Lida would be able to see if and when her daughter’s phone becomes active, and fortunately, the following morning, for a reason unbeknownst to the family, the man who had Lida’s daughter had switched her device back on. As soon as Lida saw that the device was once again active, using the location tracking feature of the app, she was able to find her daughter’s location within 5 minutes.

Continued Erasmus; “Parenting in the digital age requires one to think seriously about protecting their children in this new digital world, and no words can express how grateful we are for this app as without it I am not sure what may have happened! The app allowed us to get the police to our daughter’s exact location, free her from this potentially harmful situation and bring her back home safely into our care.”

“While certainly we were lucky that her phone was switched back on, this situation points to the very real need for parents to not only install kids safety based apps for the purposes of being able to have control over what their children can do on mobile devices and in the digital world, but also very importantly, to be able to track their children’s whereabouts if ever needed.

Surprisingly however, according to the Kaspersky Consumer Survey 2017, only 30.7% of respondents in South Africa have installed parental control software on their children’s devices, and more worryingly, only 15% install software that allows them to know their child’s location when the child is away from home.

Riaan Badenhorst, General Manager, Kaspersky Lab Africa commented on the recent events: “Having children myself, I cannot even begin to imagine what Lida went through – the worry and sheer exhaustion from stress. We were so grateful to Lida for sharing her story and feedback with us and certainly the happy ending that ensued. We need to face the reality of our children being exposed to potentially harmful situations, just like this, and furthermore, to pressures they may be feeling as they grow up in a connected world – a world we as parents never had to navigate growing up. This reality is what drives us to develop software solutions like Kaspersky Safe Kids, that specifically focuses on guarding from online threats or risks, helps parents to manage device usage time and lets parents know the location of their child.”

Kaspersky Safe Kids is a simple way for parents to provide much-needed online protection for children. It clearly shows you your children’s locations – on a real-time map – as well as lets you as parents/guardians define a ‘safe area’ radius that kids are expected to stay within (such as from home to school or after school activities). If any of your children leave the defined safe area, you’ll automatically receive an alert on your mobile phone. For more information, visit https://www.kaspersky.co.za/safe-kids.

For more educational tips for parents, please visit https://kids.kaspersky.com/

For more educational tips aimed at kids, please visit https://kids.kaspersky.com/kids/

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