Children and malware, enormous risks: here's what parents need to know

I children grew up with Internet they may undoubtedly be more tech-savvy than the average adult, but their intuitive understanding of that universe is not synonymous with expertise.

This is what emerges from research by Home Security Heroeswhich demonstrated how cybercriminals are increasingly focusing on young users, using specific search terms, to offer them hacked websites. The research, which sheds light on the most dangerous search terms in circulation, sounds like a real alarm for parents.

Children often search for pop culture terms such as best-selling games, their favorite celebrities, and the best cartoons. It’s no surprise that malicious actors use SEO techniques to incorporate these keywords into their sites.

The research in question examined the keyword most searched through Google Trendswith the results in SERP then examined by services such as SecurityCheck Juices. On average, two out of three popular search terms commonly searched by children have results that include malware or similar dangers.

Children and malware: here are the most dangerous keywords

Boss Baby” has been one of the worst keywords in this regard, with malicious actors often using the popular child-oriented media franchise to target the most vulnerable people on the internet. The same goes for “Beetlejuice“, “Animal Crossing” and even “Pokemon“, revealing that children should ideally not be allowed to click on search results without an adult present.

Il 56% of the results obtained with “Hotel Transylvania 2” led to sites full of malware. The 48% of the results for “despicable Me 2” present a similar situation, the 45% per “Big Hero 6” e “Shrek” and the 44% per “Wall-E“, “Megamind” e “Shark Tale“.

As far as games go, Animal Crossing was the most dangerous with the 46% of search results that presented a risk of malware infection. In fact, all the research shows that cybercriminals have in-depth knowledge of how they can make their jobs easier by targeting little ones.

By virtue of what has been said so far, it is clear how much more work is needed to educate the new generations about the dangers of the Web, starting from the first moment they come into contact with this fantastic but very dangerous world.


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