As parents may know, the more people use the Internet, the more inappropriate content is posted and shared, making us exert more effort to find ways to protect our children from this content. However, parents should not forget that there is an equally serious problem targeting young audiences such as children and adolescents – online scams, appearing in various forms with much more real and professional content.
So, besides using CyberPurify Kids to protect your kids from any explicit or violent content on any website, don’t forget to regularly educate your kids about scammer online to make them better aware and protect themselves.
In this article in the 5 Minutes of Parental Guide, CyberPurify will help you how to identify a scammer online to effectively protect your children from those online scams!!
How to identify a scammer online
Types of online scams
Online scams often happen on social networks when bad guys create fake accounts or hack (hack) an existing social media account (like Facebook) or a page your child has liked. Scammers use these fake accounts to trick your kids into giving them money or personal information.
Here are some common scams:
Romance scammers often send romantic, loving messages to people they don’t even know, often pretending to be divorced, widowed, or in a bad marriage or relationship.
These scammers search for the “other half” on social networks in hopes of getting money from your kids for flights or visas. The purpose of these guys is to gain your child’s trust, so conversations can go on for weeks before they ask your child for money.
This type of romance scam is rarely seen with children and teenagers (because they have not gone to work yet) but nothing is impossible, they can well-lure your children to reveal their parents’ banking information, so it is necessary to consider this.
Lottery scams are often made from accounts or pages that impersonate someone your child knows or an organization (such as a government agency or Facebook).
A familiar motif is that they send a text to your child, stating that your child is one of the lottery winners and that your child can get his or her money for a small upfront fee (this is usually a personal income tax).
Scammers may ask your child for personal information, such as the address where your child lives or banking information.
Access Token Theft
This is an extremely popular scam and has caused many children to lose their Facebook accounts. A link will be shared with your child requesting access to their Facebook account.
The link may look like it’s coming from a legitimate app, but it’s actually a way scammers can get into your kid’s account and spread spam on their friends’ lists.
Loan scammers often send messages or leave posts offering instant loans at low-interest rates and with only a small advance fee.
Job scammers use misleading or fake job postings to try to get your child’s personal information or money. So be wary of any job posting that sounds too good to be true or any job posting that requires your child to pay a certain amount of money upfront.
Loan scams and job scams don’t usually target children, so CyberPurify won’t go into detail. If you want to learn more, you can have further information about loan scams and job scams.
Phishing attacks often use emails or malicious websites (click links) to collect personal and financial information or infect your child’s device with malware and viruses.
A rather well-known term is Spear Phishing which includes specialized attacks aimed at specific targets to gather information or gain access to the system. For example, a cybercriminal could launch an online phishing attack against a business to gain access to a customer list.
Spear phishing often happens to businesses. Within this article, CyberPurify targets special phishing attacks that occur frequently on social networks like Facebook, targeting children and teens. This often happens when fake accounts send links to children on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. with something like “You’re the only lucky winner” to collect personal information or infect your child’s device with malware.
Some signs that your child’s account/device is infected with the malware:
On your child’s Facebook account
- Your child’s account is sending spam or unwanted messages to friends.
- There are strange or suspicious login locations in your child’s account history.
- Your child sees messages or posts in their activity log that they don’t remember sending.
On your child’s computer or mobile device:
- Your child’s apps run slower or tasks take longer than usual to complete.
- Your child discovers new apps they don’t remember installing.
- Your child notices strange pop-ups or other ads without opening a web browser.
On your child’s browser:
- Your child notices strange pop-ups or other ads that he/she doesn’t remember seeing before.
- Their search engine or homepage changed and they don’t remember changing it.
Spam is unsolicited and often unwanted emails sent in bulk. Here are ways to reduce spam:
- Set up an email filter: Most internet service providers (ISPs) and email service providers like Google offer spam filters. However, depending on how much you set it up, you might be able to block the important emails you need. So you should remind your child to check your junk folder from time to time to make sure the filters are working properly.
- Report Spam: Most email clients allow users to mark emails as spam or report instances of spam. Reporting spam will also help prevent messages from being sent directly to your inbox.
- E-mail Disclosure: You should consider advising your child to hide his or her email address from social networking sites or only allow certain people to see his or her personal information.
There are ways on how to spot a phishing email.
You may also find this helpful:
10 tips to help parents protect their children from online scams more effectively
You must actively protect your password
Tips to increase password security:
- Your child needs to choose a password that they don’t use anywhere else online.
- Passwords are easy for children to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Don’t use common passwords like 123456 or contain your child’s date of birth or name. On many websites, your child can even use spaces.
- Never share your password with anyone.
- Using separate passwords for different accounts also helps prevent cybercriminals.
Check the security of the website
Before submitting or entering information on any website, check the security of that website by paying attention to its URL. Malicious websites may look like legitimate websites, but the URL may use a variation in spelling.
Update all software on internet-connected devices
This applies to computers, smartphones, and tablets – to reduce the risk of malware infection.
Teach your children how to identify a scammer on Facebook
- People your kids don’t know in real life ask them to send them money.
- People who ask your child to deposit money (they say a small amount like tax money) to receive a loan, prize, or other winnings.
- Pages representing unverified companies, organizations, or influential figures.
- People who ask your kids to stop chatting on Facebook and switch to less well-known or less secure platforms.
- People who claim to be friends or relatives in the event of an emergency.
- Messages or posts with lots of typos, font errors, and poor grammar (they use translation tools for mass outreach).
- Those accounts direct your child to a page to claim the prize.
Never share your login information
Scammers can create fake websites that look like Facebook and ask your child to log in with his email and password. So you should always check the website’s URL before you enter your login information.
Use additional security options
Your child should consider using this feature on social media to be alerted to unfamiliar logins and better protect child accounts with a two-factor authentication setup, such as for Facebook.
- Unusual Login Alert: Facebook will notify your child if they see a suspicious login, Facebook will inform the device name as well as where to log in. Your child can choose to receive alerts from the Facebook app, the Messenger app, or via Email as shown in the example below.
- Set up two-factor authentication: Facebook will ask for a password and login code whenever Facebook notices an unusual login. Facebook will send a text message with a login code to your child’s additional phone number, or your child can use a secure app such as Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile.
Think carefully before you act
Be wary of communications that urge your child to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for his or her personal information in return for a gift, money, gift card.
Report and block
If your child receives any unwanted messages from someone they don’t know, reporting and blocking is probably the best course of action. Because ultimately, your child doesn’t have control over what others say and do, but your child does have control over who can contact your child online, so don’t be afraid to seize that power if you need to. – by blocking them.
Most social networking sites allow your child to block users.
Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know
Scammers can create fake accounts to befriend people. Your child’s consent to befriend scammers may allow them to spam your child’s timeline, tag you in posts, and send them malicious messages (pornography, links containing malware, etc.)
Build an open relationship of trust
The conversation is both a foundation and a catalyst for building meaningful and intimate relationships between parents and children. Talking is considered one of the best ways for children to be self-aware and proactive to stay away from dangers on the Internet.
Therefore, you need to regularly share and talk with your children about problems on the Internet such as scams, phishing, sexting, online bullying, sharing too much on social networks, using drugs, etc. Let your child understand and proactively protect themselves from these troubles.
Don’t forget to keep communication open and calm so your child knows that he or she can come to you when he feels insecure or worried by any content or interaction online without fear of judgment or being yelled at!
Wish parents better protect their children online!!
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