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Parents turn to AI-Cloud solution Audra for home internet security and parental control

 The rise in smart device usage in recent years, including among a new generation of children growing up as digital natives, has brought new concerns about internet safety in the home. In the last five years, the usage of internet and smart home devices around the world has increased by 45%  and in the wake of the pandemic, this number has increased even more due to growth in working and learning from home. With the rise in internet use, the amount of online threats like ransomware, malware and adware have also increased. This is especially worrying as 40% of smart devices globally do not follow any standard security protocols , thus becoming easy entry points for hackers to enter home networks - violating privacy and stealing personal data.

Beyond an increase in online attacks, gadget addiction and exposure to harmful content among children is also a pressing issue. In Malaysia, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)’s Internet User Survey 2020  found that the number of children aged five to 17 who are internet users has more than doubled in the past five years, from 18.4% in 2016 to 47% in 2020, but only 34.4% of parents use parental controls to safeguard their children on the internet. In light of this, the MCMC encourages parents and caregivers to keep abreast of risks and threats and make use of parental control tools when it comes to children's activities on the internet, while the MCMC works with other government bodies and law enforcement to protect children online from harms like pornography and paedophiles. 

At the same time, psychiatrists have reported  seeing more cases of young patients with gadget addiction as well as manifesting signs of internet gaming addiction (IGA) or internet gaming disorder, and anxiety disorder comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD), besides being significantly exposed to pornography. In addition, spending too much time on digital devices can also cause physical harms such as headaches, neck pain and eye strain as well as other harms associated with a sedentary lifestyle. 

Empowering parents and simplifying protection with Audra HomeShield

To help Malaysian parents address this issue, Audra introduced Audra HomeShield, the 1st-ever DIY Internet Security and Parental Control solution to solve technology-borne problems with technology. With Audra, users can prevent hacking, adware, malware, DDoS and other online attacks. They can also set schedules and time quotas to prevent gadget addiction, besides blocking pornography, gaming, gambling and other categories from their children. Managing Audra is so simple that a non-tech savvy parent can easily set rules in a few clicks. Audra is made with three components - Cloud AI solution to protect users seamlessly, Management app for setting rules and getting alerts and a 1Gbps Wi-Fi gateway device to connect all smart home devices.

With a view to ensure digital wellness in Malaysia, Audra launched its Home Internet Security & Parental Control solution in partnership with retailer AI Home. At the virtual launch event, a panel discussion on ways to protect the family from gadget addiction, harmful content and online attacks was held. The panel featured internet security expert Ola Johannes Lind, who is Audra’s Business Development Director, with parenting trainer and educator Phang Chui Kean – better known as Teacher Kean, serving as the host, plus appearances by TV personality and entrepreneur Datin Dynas Mokhtar - a mother of three, and Seven Ching, General Manager of AI Home, who both spoke from a parent’s perspective. 

In the session, Phang warned that with 90% of Malaysian households having access to more than one device, Malaysian children face the same risks as their regional and international counterparts. Echoing news reports and findings from government bodies, he said a significant number of children in Malaysia are experiencing gadget and internet addiction, being exposed to pornography and cyberbullying, and experiencing mental health problems, besides also being at risk of other cybercrimes like identity theft and fraud – giving examples of cases he has encountered. “Internet and gadget addiction is very detrimental to children’s physical and mental health. Kids look for instant gratification, so when parents try to control the children, they will test our boundaries,” he remarked. 

Meanwhile, Lind explained how Audra HomeShield’s easy to navigate system addresses parents’ concerns on safe internet use by children, easily blocking popular games like Roblox and Minecraft by blocking the entire Gaming category, as well as platforms and services like Discord, Steam, VPNs and social media, while offering flexibility to limit the blocking to specific days and times. “Parents also receive detailed reports enabling them to track their children’s activity online. This allows them to understand the children’s behaviour online and have discussions with them, thus improving communication and trust as a family. At the same time, Audra HomeShield protects the family from common online threats and nuisances such as adware, DDoS attacks, ransomware, phishing and identity theft, which harm us by stealing our bank data, spying on our online activities, blackmailing us with exposure of our confidential information and violating our privacy by infiltrating our smart home devices,” he said.

Rounding up the session, Dynas and Ching added their personal experience managing their children’s internet use. “My kids are constantly on gadgets. I’m not sure when they are using gadgets for online classes and other educational purposes and when they are doing something else. I'm in a dilemma on what to do – give them gadgets when they're depressed sitting at home all the time or take it away to control gadget addiction. I’m so happy after using Audra HomeShield. I can control bad content and gadget addiction in just one click. When my kids ask for additional hours from me, I can decide whether to allow it or not. Using Audra HomeShield is as simple as using my phone,” she commented.


Audra HomeShield is available from AI Home at RM599, from its physical stores in Mid Valley Megamall, One Utama and Sunway Velocity malls as well as online via their website at . For more information on Audra HomeShield, please visit .