While surfing web, we all get those flashy pop-ups and advertisements congratulating us about winning a fortune of a lifetime, and we know it’s a scam. But there are many other planned ways to execute an online scam and they may not be very eminent. The consequences can be more drastic if it’s your kid on the one end and something fraudulent on the other.
Because kids have a more impulsive nature than adults, they are more easily scammed.
One Road, Many Paths
Even the wisest of the people can fall to online scams. They will come in different forms; Facebook chats, emails, popup ads. But these are few prominent faces:
- A home based job that can earn you thousands in hours.
- ‘I am alone and in your area’ ad
- ‘Congratulations you have won a million dollars, get your prize by clicking here’ ad
- Phishing and emails which tell how you can get a fortune of a deceased person.
- Messages involving sympathies
Well there are many other facets of online frauds but these are the most common ones.
How Dangerous Can Scams Be?
There are people out there with a much bigger insidious agenda, not to just rip you off of your hard earned money but they can go beyond like:
- Taking on your identity
- Spreading malware for long term access to your devices
Tips To Avoid Online Scams
- Shop safely: try to avoid online shopping websites that are poorly designed or consist of multiple popup windows. Only rely on big names and retailers. Before buying anything from a fairly new website, go for Cash on Delivery (COD). If these websites only accept credit cards, try to ignore them.
- Never click on hyperlink: Always try to ignore emails that request for clicking on hyperlinks or attachments. These emails may also ask you to enter your personal information.
- Avoid shopping through phones: Phones that we use are not equipped with anti-viruses so it’s always better not to use them for online payments etc. if you suspect that your kids may be using your credit card numbers to buy stuff online, you can monitor their emails and internet browsing history in-time before you receive a big fat credit card bill at your doorstep.
- Don’t share your Social Security Number: Legitimate website will never tell you to share your Social Security numbers. Never share these numbers with websites who make such requests.
- Use services like Apple Pay or Google Wallet: these kind of apps provide you encrypted passwords and credit card numbers, minimizing the chances of online scams.
- Never compromise on passwords: when you are making online accounts with different websites, you may see few of them insisting a lot on strong passwords. Because it reduces chances of getting scammed. Also, use different passwords for your financial account and remember, never underestimate the power of a strong password.
- Avoid friendships with anons over social media: many fraudsters will bait you into friendships over social media websites like Facebook, twitter etc. they will invest ample time to build trust before they can rip money from your pockets.
- Say No to E-cards: it may seem like people are busy spreading cheer but these holiday e-card can give you a subtle punch. They may request to click on link that may direct you to scam websites.
- Regularly check your credit card statements: if you are reviewing your credit card bills every month, you can identify any anomalous charges. Inform your credit card company immediately if you find any strange figures.
- Never share your home address: things can get pretty darn serious when your kids share your home address on online websites. Tell them to never do that, Ever!
Online Safety First!
It’s important that you educate your kids about the aforementioned risks and how they can identify and deal with online scams. Using a good parental app can give you details about their online browsing history and interests that can save you from many online troubles.