One of the most important things you can do to protect your online security is to teach kids about phishing and online scams.
Phishing is when someone tries to fool you into giving them your personal information, like your bank account number or password. Teaching your kids about phishing is one of the best ways to help them stay safe online.
In this blog post, we'll teach you how to do just that. We'll also share some tips for avoiding online scams and cybercrime, specifically phishing attacks. So, whether you're a parent or a teacher, read on for information about cybersecurity awareness for kids!
Kids and Technology
According to Pew Research Center, 60% of parents have their kids use technology before turning five years old.
This shows how technology is becoming increasingly popular and commonplace in today's society, so it's no surprise that kids are using it more and more at younger ages.
While technology can be a great tool for learning and entertainment, it's important for parents to be aware of the potential dangers that come with it. One of these dangers is phishing, which is when scammers try to trick people into giving them personal information or money.
Phishing can happen through emails, websites, or even text messages. It's important to teach kids about phishing and how to spot phishing attempts so they don't become victims of these scams.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of online fraud that involves tricking people into revealing personal or sensitive information, comprising their cyber security. It typically involves an email or other communication that appears to be from a trusted source but is actually from a malicious actor.
The goal of phishing is to obtain sensitive information such as login credentials, financial information, or other confidential data.
Phishing can be difficult to spot, as attackers are constantly evolving their methods to appear more credible. However, there are some common red flags that can indicate a phishing attack:
- The communication contains typos or other errors
- The sender's email address does not match the trusted organization's domain name
- The message includes a sense of urgency or threatening language
- The message contains unusual attachments or links
If you receive a suspicious communication, do not respond to it, and do not click on any links or attachments. Instead, contact the organization that allegedly sent the message to verify its authenticity.
If you believe you have been a victim of phishing, change your passwords and contact your financial institution immediately.
How to Help Your Child Spot Phishing
Most children are savvy when it comes to technology, but they may not be as aware of the dangers that come with using the internet. As a parent, you can help your child spot phishing attempts and other scams by teaching them to be vigilant when using the internet.
Here are some tips to teach kids about phishing and how they can avoid falling for it:
- Teach your child to be suspicious of unsolicited emails, even if they appear to come from a trusted source. If an email looks fishy, encourage them to forward it to you or another adult for further examination.
- Explain that phishers may try to trick people into revealing personal information by posing as a legitimate company or organization. Help your child identify red flags that may indicate a phishing email, such as misspellings, grammatical errors, and unexpected requests for personal information.
- Remind your child that they should never click on links or attachments in an email from someone they don’t know. Encourage them to hover over links to see where they will really take them before clicking.
- Teach your child to be cautious when using social media. Remind them not to accept friend requests from people they don’t know and to be careful about what information they share online.
By teaching your child about cybersecurity awareness, you can help them stay safe when using the internet.
5 Proven Ways to Teach Kids About Phishing
Here are some ways to teach your kids about phishing:
1. Define Phishing
One way to teach kids about phishing is to have them define it. Explain that phishing is an attempt to fraudulently obtain someone's personal or financial information.
You can also give examples of common phishing scams, such as emails that claim to be from a bank or online retailer. Explain that scammers often use fake websites and emails to try and trick people, and show your kids how to spot these fake sites.
Finally, emphasize the importance of never giving out personal information or financial information online unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with.
2. Explain How Phishing Works
Phishing can be difficult to spot, especially for kids who are new to the online world. That's why it's important for parents and teachers to explain how phishing works and teach kids how to protect themselves.
One way to explain phishing is to use the analogy of a fishing trip. Just like fishermen use bait to lure in fish, phishers use fake emails and websites that look real to lure in victims.
Once someone takes the bait, the phisher has them hooked. They will then try to get as much personal information from the victim as possible.
It's important for kids to understand that they should never give out personal information online unless they are 100% sure that the website or email is legitimate. They also need to know that phishers can be very convincing, so even if something looks real, it might not be.
3. Teach Kids How to Spot Phishing
One way to help your child spot a phishing attempt is to talk about the warning signs.
For example, explain that phishers will often pretend to be from a company or organization that they're not, and they'll try to rush you into giving them information before you have a chance to think about it.
They might also create fake websites that look almost identical to the real thing, but there will usually be small differences if you look closely. Teach your child to always be on the lookout for these warning signs, and encourage them to ask you for help if they're ever unsure about something they see online.
4. Show Kids How to Report Phishing
It's important to teach kids about phishing and how to report it. Scammers are often very clever and can trick even smart adults. But there are some things that kids can do to protect themselves.
If a kid receives an email, text, or phone call from someone they don't know, they should never give out personal information like their name, address, or bank account number. They should also never click on links from strangers or open attachments from unknown senders.
And if they're ever in doubt, they can always ask an adult for help. By teaching kids how to be scam-aware, we can help them stay safe online and in the real world.
5. Keep Personal Information Private
It's important to teach kids that they should never give out personal information online without being absolutely sure that the person or website they're dealing with is legitimate. The best way to do this is to stress the importance of keeping personal information private.
Explain to them that they should never give out their full name, address, phone number, or any other sensitive information unless they're absolutely sure that they can trust the person or website they're dealing with.
If they're ever in doubt, they should err on the side of caution and not give out any information at all. By teaching kids to keep their personal information private, we can help them stay safe from phishing scams and other online threats.
What to Do if Your Child Becomes a Victim of Phishing
If your child becomes the victim of a phishing attack, there are a few things you can do to help them recover and protect their information.
First, you should change all of their passwords, especially if they used the same password for multiple accounts. You should also enable two-factor authentication on any accounts that support it. This will help to prevent future attacks and strengthen your child’s cyber security.
Next, you should scan their computer for malware and viruses. If any are found, you should remove them immediately.
Finally, you should talk to your child about the importance of being careful when sharing personal information online. You should also remind them not to click on links or attachments from unknown sources.
Safety Tips for Parents
When it comes to keeping kids safe online, parents need to be aware of the dangers of phishing. While most adults are aware of the dangers of phishing, kids may not be.
They may be more likely to click on a link in a phishing email or enter their personal information into a fake website without realizing that they are putting themselves, and their cybersecurity, at risk.
There are a few simple steps that parents can take to teach kids about phishing:
Teach kids not to click on links in emails or instant messages from people they don't know. If they get an email or message that looks suspicious, tell them to forward it to you so you can take a look at it.
Make sure your kids know never to enter their personal information into a website unless they are absolutely sure that it is legitimate. If they are ever asked to enter their password or credit card number into a website, they should be very suspicious and come to you for help.
Keep the computer in a common area of the house so you can easily monitor what your kids are doing online.
Talk to your kids regularly about the importance of keeping their personal information private and not sharing it with anyone online.
Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your kids' online accounts, such as unexpected charges on their credit cards or strange messages from people they don't know. If you see anything that doesn't look right, talk to your kids about it and help them take steps to secure their accounts.
As parents, it is important to teach kids about phishing so they can be more aware of online scams and protect themselves. In addition, they should also be taught how to stay safe online in general and avoid cyber crimes.
Cybersecurity awareness should start at a young age and continue as kids get older. There are many different ways to protect yourself from cybercrime, and it is important for kids (and adults) to understand them all.
At the end of the day, we hope our tips have helped you feel more confident about teaching your kids about phishing—and keeping them safe online overall. Do you have any additional tips or advice? Let us know in the comments!