How to Talk to Children About Online Scams and Keep Them Safe

Young people are online more than ever before. When using the Internet, kids and teens can easily be lured into different scams that cost them money, their reputation, or even their identity. Parents, nowadays, must talk with their children about potential virtual threats to protect them from wrongdoers.

How to Talk to Children About Online Scams and Keep Them SafeHere are several basic tips on how to start the conversation about the dangers of the Internet to raise the awareness of kids and teenagers.

1. Admitting That Internet Scamming Exists

Scams against kids and teens have been on the rise for years. This is due to the fact that young people have become a bit too comfortable with the Internet and are too trusting as well. While it’s understandable that some parents want to shield their children from the harshness of the real world, they cannot turn a blind eye to the dangers of being online. Admitting that there are bad people on the Internet is the first step toward protecting their kids from getting scammed.

2. Explaining the Different Types of Online Scams

Most scammers use social media to trick children and collect their personal information, which they later use for identity theft. Often teenagers are lured through fake auctions for luxury items, scholarships, promises of free goods, and job offers. Parents must explain to their kids the different types of online scams and how to recognize them. For example, emails with terms like “respond now!” or “limited availability!” as well as bad grammar and spelling mistakes, are sure signs that something is wrong.

3. Fraudulent Dating Apps

Romance scams are becoming increasingly popular because more and more people are using the Internet to meet their significant others. From fake profiles to fraudulent dating apps designed to collect personal data, the virtual world is full of wrongdoers who are prepared to exploit people’s loneliness for personal gains. Children should be made aware of these dangers so they can be vigilant about who they decide to meet in person.

4. Teach Them How to Protect Themselves

Revealing the dangers of the Internet is one thing, teaching children to protect themselves is another. Fathers and mothers should take the time to show their kids how to recognize virtual threats. They should be taught to read reviews before downloading apps, turn on additional security features before making online purchases, and avoid opening pop-ups and linked websites.

Online scams are a serious problem that won’t magically disappear, which is why parents must prepare their kids from a young age from the dangers of the Internet.