“What’s your password? What’s your mother’s maiden name? What’s your favorite pet’s name? What’s your e-mail address? What city do you live in? What is the make and model of your car?” Do these questions sound familiar? They should. Today people are constantly giving out their information online in order to set up an account or log into a new site. We don’t even think twice about it honestly, and our kids especially don’t think about it. In recent years, kids have been a target for hackers and ID thieves. It only makes sense more and more kids are online, most even more than adults. Kids are also more vulnerable and less educated than adults; these two facts make for a deadly combination and easy targets.
Children Being Targeted by Hackers
Hackers and Identity thieves create enticing pop ups on kids’ sites in order to gain valuable information about them that might help guess passwords for their parent’s accounts etc. It’s not hard to fool a small child. If you tell them that they will receive a free toy if they answer two questions, you better believe that they will answer those questions.
Besides taking advantage of kids’ naïve nature, hackers are also on the prowl for kids’ sites or games and devices that have low levels of security. VTech is a company that makes learning toys for children. In 2015 VTech Electronics was hacked, leaving millions of children’s personal information exposed. With their information exposed, their identities were at risk.
What to Teach Your Kids about Online Safety
So what can we do to keep our children safer? First of all, education is key. Teach your kids what they should and should not share online. Teach them about common questions that are asked like the once mentioned at the beginning of this post. Show them different spam links and pop ups so that they know what to look for. Every parent will be different in how they choose to educate their kids, but just remember it IS important to educate.
Getting your child their own tablet or device is another security precaution. This ensures that if they are hacked, the hacker does not have access to your important information that might be on a family computer. Always remember, err on the side of caution.
What Can You Do to Keep Kids Safe Online?
Sign your kids up with an identity theft protection service. Kids’ identities could be stolen for years and who might ever know? One might not figure it out until they go to get their drivers license. With companies like Life Lock, Identity Force, and Identity Guard, your kids will be safer and you can rest easier.