SOURCE: BitDefender

BitDefender

September 28, 2009 09:03 ET

BitDefender Offers Comprehensive Parental Control Features to Protect Children From Online Threats in a Web 2.0 World

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - September 28, 2009) - Today, fewer parents are surprised by the level of danger posed to their children by online predators. However, with the rise of Web 2.0 applications, BitDefender, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions, advises parents to be aware of a new breed of threats when considering the online safety of their children.

The newest threats include social networks and blogs, a phenomenon which has exploded in recent years. Children are exposed to an array of predators in the Web 2.0 world, seeking to do anything from phishing and spamming to more serious attempts at bullying, molestation or abduction. As shocking as the Jaycee Dugard case, the woman abducted as a child and held captive for 18 years, may be, the likelihood of this happening to children today is increased simply by utilizing the home computer to lure unsuspecting children from the safety of their homes. For example, Dateline NBC's To Catch a Predator© depicts how easily underage children fall prey to online traps. To Catch a Predator© uses hidden cameras and seemingly underage decoys to illustrate the real-life dangers children face online.

Parental controls on computer usage are a growing necessity in today's society, with a rise in readily available violent video content, easily accessible "adult" entertainment, the prevalence of online gaming, the increasing problem of internet addiction, as well as online advertising that heavily targets today's children as young as seven and teens.

"Not long ago, parents had stronger control over the types of information available to their children," said Catalin Cosoi, BitDefender's senior antispam researcher. "Now the situation is completely different. In the past it used to be enough to turn off the TV in order to avoid the exposure to undesired information, such as advertising for alcohol, tobacco and so on. But with the technical evolution, came a series of inconveniences and a lot of 'grey areas' where no rules apply. One of the most important changes in recent years is the unrestricted and almost unlimited access our children have to the Internet."

BitDefender's Parental Control component provides comprehensive settings for web and application control as well as the ability to filter web, mail and instant messaging traffic for certain keywords. It offers three initial restriction levels based on the age of the specific user which can be customized to fit any needs utilizing the following features:

--  Web Control -- allows or disallows access to certain websites added to
    a list, with a wide range of categories to choose from.
--  Web Time Limiter -- allows or blocks access to the Internet during
    certain time spans to help prevent addiction.
--  Application Control -- allows a parent to define a strict schedule to
    which applications (including games to prevent gaming addictions) the users
    of that computer have access, either setting up an hourly/daily cycle or
    completely block access to the software.
--  Instant Messenger Control -- blocks or allows certain messenger IDs
    the user is able to talk to.
--  Keywords Control -- allows blocking of either HTTP traffic (web), POP3
    traffic (mail) or instant messenger traffic which contains certain words.
    The blacklist can be filled with either complete or partial words. This
    feature utilizes proactive detection to cover sites as they are created.
--  Email Notification -- notifies the parent every time it blocks an
    activity for other users.
    

"Besides protecting children from online predators, inappropriate content or addiction, every BitDefender security suite bundles all technologies of proactive malware detection, privacy control, traffic encryption data backup and more -- offering complete identity and data protection against threats originating from known and unknown sources," added Cosoi.

To listen to BitDefender's "Parental Control" podcast, please visit the Podcasts page of BitDefender's Press Center.

For additional tips on how to protect your family from online threats, please visit the BitDefender website at www.bitdefender.com.

About BitDefender®

BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention, emerging as the industry's anti-malware innovator. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's www.malwarecity.com provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.