However valuable you might see the data stored on your PC, but there is no doubt that your child is much more important. That means, once your kid uses the computer on his/her own, your PC needs enhanced protection to shield your machine from newer and sophisticated threats.
There is a bit of irony here: children have proven to be more tech-savvy than their parents. But if you decided to entrust your kid (who just happened to find a new, cool and free antivirus) with the task of protecting the home computer, we’d suggest you changed your mind. This mistake is classic. Kids and free antiviruses don’t go well together, and here’s why.
Paid products belonging to the Internet Security league do not only excel in terms of quality of anti-malware protection if compared to free antiviruses; they are capable of sustaining more advanced and sophisticated threats, rather than just viruses. Now, leaving the malware aside, let’s have a look on the scope of threats a teen might come across when surfing the web:
- Scammers offering ways to earn money or save money by getting free treats;
- Pedophiles who would start by heart-to-heart talks on social media and then offer real-time meet-ups;
- Phishing mails which steal the child’s personal data or, at times, his/her parents’ financial data;
- Web sites containing information which is inappropriate, explicit, of harmful for your child (from detailed depiction of sexuality to assertive religious propaganda);
- And, as a cherry on top, classmates who would be glad to find a new object for bullying or, on the contrary, get a loyal side-kick to accompany them during a visit to a drug dealer.
‘Internet Security’-class protection is crucial for kids who surf on their own.
All of the threats we listed above cannot be taken down by an antivirus. But a properly set up Internet Security product with a Parental Control module or, in our case, with the special Kaspersky Safe Kids app, are perfectly capable of it. This would prevent your child from ending up on a porn website or scamming resource; it would alert the parents should it detect inappropriate communication with pedophiles and classmates when tracking down suspicious conversations or contacts, and, besides that, would wisely limit the time spent in front of the computer.
If your antivirus was unable to get rid of a malicious code, don’t put all the blame onto developers. Sometimes, weak protection is not the reason: it may well be the antivirus has been disabled by the child him/herself! Why? The reason might be the urge to speed up the favorite shooter (it does not necessarily mean the antivirus is the cause, but who could succeed in proving this to a kid?), or the necessity to install a malicious add-on / new mission (malicious apps are pretty good in impersonating additional gaming content), or anything else. It’s challenging (yet not completely impossible) for a program to protect itself from the legitimate user. However, Kaspersky Internet Security, for instance, employs a powerful self-defense system and an admin password which, in a joint effort, prevent the above scenario from happening.
It frequently happens so that a virus infiltrates a computer just when a child has disabled protection to play video games.
As we have discussed before, free antiviruses build their business model on advertising – for instance, by installing various ‘safer search panels’. Of course, the safer – the better, as the safe search can prevent kids from following infected links, but advertising will always remain in the search results. As we all know, kids easily fall victims of its influence, so don’t be surprised if modest savings on the antivirus subscription will result in many month of moaning and screaming for, say a new motorcycle.