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Recognizing and Protecting our Children from Spam and Scams

Online safety is top of mind for everyone these days. And with spam and link scams in this digital age, to click or not to click is now the ultimate question. iKeepSafe’s most recent videos help open the conversation to teach children about links and how we can avoid scams, malware and spam online by being cautious with links found in ads, IM, email, wall posts and comments on websites.

Lead a fun and engaging discussion with these four easy steps

Long before our children study physics, we guide them through the safe practices of using electricity. We take the necessary measures to ensure that they use electricity in a safe and smart manner. We can do the equivalent with digital devices by integrating the topic into family conversations and using security software to protect devices.

I. Introduce the topic

Explain that links act like a door to our computer or digital device. Behind that door may be an entirely legitimate site, or it may be a malicious site composed of malware. Criminals, hackers and spammers use links as a way to gain control of your device and data. They create ads designed to tempt the reader to click on it.

II. Watch and discuss

Discussion:

Have you ever received an IM, Wall post, comment or website link inviting you to meet hot singles?

What happened when you did? What do you think happens once you’ve clicked on an ad like this? Who do you think creates “hot single” ads? What do we do if we have already clicked on the ad and someone starts sending spam to our family and friends via email or social networking site?

Take some time to talk about the motives that are behind these hot singles scams:

  • The scammers want to make money off of you with high cost chats and/or by collecting your information for resale.
  • The scammers want to download a virus or malware onto your computer or phone that will damage your device, add it to their botnet, steal your information and identity, trash your reputation, and/or use you to scam your friends.

III. Watch and discuss

Discussion:

Have you ever received the “average male” spam scam?

What do you think happens once you’ve clicked on an ad like this? What do we do if we have already clicked on the ad and someone starts sending spam to our family and friends via email or social networking site?

Take some time to talk about the motives behind these “average male” scams:

  • The scammers want to make money off of you with high cost chats, and/or by collecting your information for resale.
  • The scammers want to download a virus or malware onto your computer or phone that will damage your device, add it to their botnet, steal your information and identity, trash your reputation and/or use you to scam your friends.

IV. Share with others

Now that you know how to engage your child in online safety dialogue, spread the word. Share this information with other parents and friends to help them avoid spam and scam mistakes.

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