Teach your kids to avoid online scams
Written by a NortonLifeLock employee
Surfing the Internet means possible exposure to online scams, something your children might not have any concept of. If you’re allowing them to go online, it’s imperative that you discuss online scams. Such scams come in a variety of guises, including those that specifically target children.
Let’s look at how to best protect your kiddies from those who would scam them.
Safety for every device.
Security is no longer a one-machine affair. You need a security suite that helps protect all your devices – your Windows PC, Mac, Android smartphone or your iPad.
Educate yourself first
The first step in protecting your children from online scams is to educate yourself on the types of scams currently floating around the Internet. One type of scam is the free trial offer, which claims to provide, for example, free one-month trials of some “amazing” product. The fine print of these scams includes terms stating that after the trial period, you’ll be paying for the product once a month ... forever.
Other examples of Internet scams include fake Wi-Fi hotspots; social media and email messages indicating you’ve won an expensive prize or should enter a contest to win an expensive prize; and bogus pop-ups warning of supposed viruses and malware. The latter scam often looks like legitimate antivirus programs, but what you’re doing to “fix” your computer is actually infecting it with a virus.
Unfortunately, these are merely some of the many online scams that exist, so be sure to do your homework.
Learning the signs
Once you feel secure in your knowledge of Internet scams, it’s time to pass this information on to your kids. Educating them about indicators of scams is important, with typical signs including:
Many Internet scams are rife with grammatical and spelling errors. If you receive messages laden with such errors about a “great deal” or contest, it’s probably a scam, even if it comes from a “friend.” However, there are plenty of Internet scams that contain flawless wording, as it’s one of the ways scammers make their messages look legitimate.
Messages from “foreign princes” claiming you need to help them transfer thousands of dollars, and simply have to pay the $150 wiring fee to enjoy a cut of the money, are now-classic online scams.
Manipulating emotions is another common scammer trick. Financial stress, loneliness, and frustration are examples of the emotional states scammers prey on. They might not ask for money, but they will insist on personal information, which they will then use to steal identities.
“Kids talent searches” are types of scams that target children specifically. These scams might suggest that a child joins a particular modeling agency or accepts an invitation for a screen test. They may seem real at first, but they always ask for money to continue “working” with the agency.
Another scam that targets children is scholarship scams. They claim to be recognizing children for academic achievement but, as with talent scams, require paying significant upfront fees.
When it comes to recognizing scams, keep communication open and clear with your children. Stress that they should always come to you about any suspicious messages or pop-ups they receive, and regularly discuss online scam signs if Internet usage is a big thing in your house. Scammers rely on children’s innocence, so consider limiting Internet time in your home until you’re certain the kids are scam-savvy enough.
Isn’t it time to upgrade your security?
Upgrading to new devices and software can often mean downgrading your privacy and security. It’s time to take your security seriously. Download the full version of Norton Security Deluxe free for 30 days, and test-drive it on up to 3 of your devices – PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets.
Create an account today and be up and running in minutes.
Disclaimers and references:
Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.
Copyright © 2022 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.