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Security & privacy

Popular streaming device exposing kids to scams and adult content

We’ve been telling you about the ongoing controversies surrounding Kodi, a program that is supposed to be a gateway to a wide variety of unlimited streaming content.

Kodi is an open source program that aggregates media including movies, music and photos from multiple online or local sources – think of it as a highly customizable media manager/player.

Kodi software is legal on its own but due to some businesses selling streaming devices preloaded with Kodi add-ons that facilitate illegal streams, these so-called “Kodi boxes” have been banned from major online shopping sites like Amazon and eBay.

It was also decided by the European courts that streaming pirated content is as illegal as the downloading of pirated content itself.

There’s another danger lurking within streaming boxes loaded with a variety of third-party add-ons you need to know about – exposing children to explicit content and inappropriate advertising.

Statistics from Industry Trust revealed that more than 50 percent of parents watch illegal streaming content through streaming boxes or sticks with children under the age of 18.

Two-thirds of these parents stated that they are unaware that illegal video streams can expose children to a variety of inappropriate content like ads that depict gambling or alcohol consumption.

The survey also revealed that 61 percent were unaware of the risk of exposure to such age-inappropriate material while 55 percent did not know that parental controls on such devices do not apply to unauthorized third-party add-ons.

Another big danger is that due to the lack of content restrictions for third-party add-ons, preloaded streaming boxes also allow easy access to pornographic content.

Some users reported that inappropriate graphics and ads usually pop up in the middle of a movie stream, for example, through the Popcorn Time add-on.

In other occasions, users were constantly bombarded with spammy ads that ask them to download software or phish for their bank details.

“With illegal streaming becoming more prevalent, parents need to recognize the real dangers that illegal streaming poses to our children,” stated Kieron Sharp, chief executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

“On these illegal streams you’re seeing adult content right next to kids content – it’s very dangerous at a time when the government has launched its internet safety strategy,” he continued.

This just shows that if you do decide to utilize illegal streaming add-ons through set-top boxes and sticks, not only could you be breaking the law, you could also be exposing your household to dangerous and inappropriate content.

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