How security software can combat ‘stranger danger’

BullGuard’s head of global sales, Steve Hicks, discusses the opportunities around selling security software to parents during the lucrative back to school period…

In an industry that is defined as much by tight margins as fierce competition, it can sometimes feel like a slog trying to increase profit. One of the tricks lies in spotting the right opportunity rather than being swept along by vendor clout. For astute and independent resellers, the opportunities are clearly there during the back to school period.

Today’s kids are the true digital generation. When they’re born they are probably no more than a few feet away from a smartphone and are often armed with tablets no later than the age of five. Most primary schools today also have a strong tech focus, all of which means going digital becomes second nature at a very early age. At this time of life kids also become susceptible to peer pressure. Nothing will get a child more eager to start socialising online than if their friends are doing it.

Parental anxiety over stranger danger and what the kids are up to has also transferred to the online realm. Of course there’s the danger of malware lurking on websites, pop-up ads and in emails, but parental concern tends to also focus on social media sites and especially cyber bullying.

This is a good starting point for resellers to engage with parents about the compelling need for good security software. Bullying online, for instance, is a real danger.

When they’re younger, this can be through networks like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters. But as children grow and move onto more ‘mature’ social networks like Facebook, online bullying can be disturbing, damaging and just plain nasty.

It’s worth pointing out helpful websites such as Get Safe Online to parents, which does a sterling job of outlining the dangers as well as offering further contacts such as The Internet Watch Foundation.

Plus, BullGuard has prepared the free downloadable document ‘A Parents’ Guide to Protecting Children Online’, which details key concerns from a survey of 2,000 UK parents and includes tips and advice on keeping children safe online. Printed copies are available on request.

This can set you up to talk about what parents should be looking for in good security software. In terms of malware, behavioural-based virus detection is an absolute must as it identifies and stops new forms of malware before they become common knowledge. This will stop kids inadvertently infecting their devices.

Also, BullGuard’s social media protection provides parents with an online dashboard so they can keep a discreet eye on the children. It notices who is ‘friending’ who, enabling a parent to spot potential abusers or suspicious characters. It also monitors accounts rather than a single PC. Parents should be made aware of such products; for resellers it’s a great opportunity to boost sales during a key selling period.

Steve Hicks is BullGuard’s head of global sales.

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