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When do we need to teach our kids about cybercrime?

3 years ago

Tamsin Oxford writer
Tamsin Oxford Professional writer and editor Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK
There is no time like the present. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, if they are on the internet or using a computer, then they need to get their heads around passwords and security and not giving out personal information online. 
 
Cybercrime is a growing problem with malware and phishing and identity theft becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot. Cybercriminals are not just looking to get money and information from enterprises, they want it from you. And if you are not teaching your children some of the basics on how to recognise spam or why not to click on links in emails, then you are essentially handing your machine over to someone else and offering them your bank card.
 
In 2012 and 2013 fake apps were problem. Angry Birds Space, Instagram and Minecraft are three excellent examples of how criminals created an app that looked exactly like the original. The Minecraft fake turned your phone into a text messaging machine to a premium rate number in Russia. It’s one of the most popular children’s apps and easy for them to get wrong.
 
Fake identity documents and utility bills are another big trend as demand grows for these forgeries, your kids can have their ID’s stolen and used to load up a ton of debt in their names. Imagine a bad credit record at the age of six? While the young ones won’t understand the entire concept, make it very clear that they should never give out their full name, address or any kind of number to a stranger.
 
You can find a lot of advice on how to discover if your child’s identity has been compromised on Identity Theft Victims and you can visit Experian to get professional help with clearing the records. Use child protection software on PCs and laptops – Windows has it built in – and visit this fantastic resource at StaySafeOnline.org
 
Create rules of engagement and revise them as your child gets older and becomes more proficient with technology. The Grade 1 child can be banned from downloading any content or accessing sites where the Grade 3 may need you to sit and supervise as they browse. Show kids the risks now so they have the tools to stay safe online. 
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Opinion 3 years ago

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