The report, which includes a representative sample of approximately 4 million extracted URLs, shows that adult content on the Internet as well as illegal content such as child pornography and illegal drug purchase has undergone a significant increase of 17% in the first quarter of 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009.
Additionally, Websites related to the online role-playing games (RPGs), such as World of Warcraft; Final Fantasy and Grand Theft Auto 4, have grown by more than 212% in the first three months of 2010. Websites that contain violence have grown by 10.8%, terrorism content by 8.5%, and illegal drugs purchase by 6.8% are continuing to grow.
Ana Luisa Rotta, director of child protection projects at Optenet, commented: “When you consider that more than one third of the Internet’s content is pornographic, combined with the overwhelming increase in young people now curiously visiting Websites with such ease of access, it is becoming increasingly imperative that adults take responsibility for the management of home PC security.”
Rotta added, “Security of minors is a major factor for parents and guardians. There is a growing trend for online role-playing games to encourage negative behaviour, by rewarding violent and brutal activities within the online games. Additionally, some of these games provide a wide number of communication channels that allow multiple forms of interaction among users, such as chat, forums, Voice over IP (VoIP) and exchange of user-generated content. It is possible for those intent on abusing these channels, to employ them to carry out highly damaging and often illegal activities including cyber-bullying and the sexual harassment of minors.”
Other forms of content found most commonly on the internet relate to online shopping (+9%), travel and tourism (+5.7%), computer science and sports (+4.2%), and leisure and entertainment (+3.6%).