The online environment is constantly changing, as are the ways that both kids and adults are using the internet. Social networking continues to grow in popularity and kids are attracted to it because it’s a great way to interact with their friends and to make new friends. Kids who are naturally shy tend to open up more in a virtual world, making it easier for them to make friends online.
These days, many kids draw little distinction between real life and online life. They may use social Web sites designed for children such as Webkinz or Club Penguin, or social Web sites designed for adults such as Windows Live Spaces, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and others. Twitter is less secure than Facebook because by default all posts are public and will be broadcast in a publicly search-able time-line by anyone with a connection to the internet. Unfortunately, some of the information kids tweet and post on their pages can also make them vulnerable to a wide variety of security threats, malware attacks, phishing scams, cyberbullying, and internet predators. Many social networking sites children frequent do not have parental control tools that will help to keep your children safe.
Most online scams are targeted at adults since they are the ones with the bank accounts and credit cards. But some are directed specifically at tweens and teens. Many are aimed at young adults entering college. Here are a few of the worst scams in order to highlight the ways that con artists are most likely to try to take advantage of young kids and teens.
- Social Security Scam
- Justin Bieber Ticket Giveaway
- Social Networking Scams (free ipads)
- Farmville Ads
- Twilight Casting Call
- Text Message Scams
- Ringtone Scams
- College Scholarship Scams (Source: Terrible Scams Targeting Kids)
Kids are crazy about Neopets, an online game and virtual community that lets players adopt pets, collect rewards and buy special items for their virtual furry friends. But the game’s popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed by bad guys, who are targeting Neopet users with a number of scams. The Wall of Shame is a place where Neopets staff post the latest ways people are trying to trick others. Here’s how to protect your kids — and yourself. Are Hackers Targeting Your Kids?
As social media websites have grown to attract people from all walks of life, they’ve also attracted criminal elements. Be aware of some of the tricks they use to scam you on social networking sites. Top 5 Social Media Scams
Learn the ins and outs of online communities like Facebook and MySpace.com so you can teach your teens to play it safe. Teen Community Safety Tips – Your Security Resource
Protect your kids from digital marketing tactics, by teaching youngsters about advertising, protecting private data, and keeping a watchful eye.Marketing to Kids Online – Your Security Resource
For teens with an iPhone or iPod Touch, the applications offered by the iTunes store may not be everything they want. Some teens try to “jailbreak” their devices by installing unauthorized applications. But this practice comes with risks. Here’s what you should know about jailbreaking. Is Your Teen Jailbreaking?
Did you know that your children’s online actions may have serious legal consequences? Here’s how to help them stay out of trouble. 5 Laws Your Kids Could Be Breaking Online
Related post: Security Threats: Symantec’s Protection Tips