It’s natural for parents to worry about what their kids get up to online. It’s important to protect them from pedophiles and cyber-bullies. But what many parents don’t realize is that there are other dangers out there – criminals whose targets are adults but who use children to get to them.
Children who don’t know what to watch out for online can endanger not only themselves but also their parents. Online safety tips to keep this from happening should be an early part of every child’s internet education. The information which criminals look for when they’re targeting adults may seem innocuous to children, so it’s important that they’re told what needs to be kept secret. A list next to the computer can help, especially when the concept is new. This will provide children with an easy means of checking when they’re unsure, and its written authority will give them the confidence to say no.
Parents’ online safety tips for evading criminals of this sort should include the importance of not giving out full names, present and past addresses, car numberplate’s, and other such personal material which can be used in establishing a false identity. Often this information is sought through the medium of games. Have you ever played the online game where a group of people jokingly rename themselves using the name of their first pet and their mother’s maiden name? Have you ever considered that a mother’s maiden name is a standard password for many bank accounts?
Kids who understand what identity theft is and how it can affect people will be much more careful about what they say online. This doesn’t mean you need to scare them – you just need to make them aware that there are certain things criminals want. If they don’t reveal those things, nobody will have a problem.