According to a 2013 study conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), more than 2 billion people worldwide had Internet access in 2011, with 60 percent of these users in developing companies and nearly half are under that age of 25. Norton’s 2012 Cybercrime Report states almost 60 percent of children experienced something negative online, including falling victim to a phishing scheme. Only 82 percent of these children told their parents . You need to teach your teen about phishing scams and how to avoid them.
A phishing scam is when a hacker, con artist or other criminal tries to gain illegal access to a computer. They do this to acquire financial information and passwords. While phishing schemes have always been of concern, technological advancements have allowed these scams to become more sophisticated. Many phishing schemes are difficult to detect, making it all the more vital that your teen know what to look for. Protect your family against identity theft with these common examples:
Common Phishing Schemes
Here are four examples of phishing schemes your teen should watch out for:
1. Phony Social Media Profiles
Chances are that social media is an integral part of your teen’s life. Phishing scam artists are building fake profiles. The more friends your teen has, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of them. The scam artist may use pictures of your teen’s friends and family on Facebook to trick your teen into adding them as a friend. Many times, the victim thinks that the friend or family member created a new account or accidently dropped them.
Before accepting the friend request, your teen needs to see if the friend/family member is still listed as a friend. If the friend is listed, your teen needs to report the profile to the social media company and tell the friend/family member what happened.
2. The “Man in the Middle” Scam
This is one of the most difficult scams to detect, which makes it hard to prevent. This scam involves malicious websites that look nearly identical to the real website you are looking for. The goal of this scheme is to find out your login or credit card information.
Your teen can avoid becoming a victim of this scheme by checking the address displayed in the browser window after clicking on the link to ensure the site is legitimate. Use a quality Internet protection and anti-spam program to minimize your chance of falling victim to this scam.
3. Email with a Link from a Friend
Your teen logs into an email account and sees a message from an acquaintance. The message seems odd, as it sounds like the friend needs help or wants to share a great opportunity. The friend provides a link to a website. Because it seems harmless your teen clicks on the link.
By clicking on the link, your teen may have exposed the computer to a tracking program or virus. The link could also take your teen to a malicious website where a criminal source gathers personal information.
4. Emails with Attachments or Pictures
Your teen receives an email from an acquaintance that has an attachment or picture. When your teen clicks on the attachment/picture, it begins to download. What your teen does not know is that a virus is also downloading. The virus may connect to a malevolent website that gathers personal information from files in the computer.
Your teen can avoid becoming a victim of these email schemes by calling or sending the friend a new email before following the link or downloading the picture/attachment. As opposed to clicking on ‘reply,’ your teen needs to create a brand new email.
Practicing and implementing internet safety with your teen will help to not only protect your family now, but will allow them to integrate a distinct eye when spending time online. Although the internet is ever-evolving, scams like these remain prevalent due to lack of education.