Teach Your Children To Recognize and Avoid Internet Scams

Tips to help protect your children and your family from Internet scams: Internet ScamBusters™ #212

Today we have another Special Issue for you. It’s called
“Teach Your Children To Recognize and Avoid Internet Scams.”

If you have children or grandchildren, do you want to provide
them with the ability to explore all that the Internet has to
offer and help them stay safe from the dangers? Today we’ll
help you teach your children how to protect themselves from
Internet scams and more. We think you’ll agree that we have
some terrific resources for you.

First, though, we recommend you check out the most popular
articles from our other sites during the past week:

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Diet and Dessert Can Go Hand In Hand: You CAN have
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How In-Store Coupons Could Be Your Missing Link to Huge Savings: Many people ignore
in-store coupons, and they thereby neglect a valuable source of savings.

Home Improvement Projects that Add Value to Your Home: How to pick the best
home improvement projects so your time and money actually add value to your home.

On to today’s Special Issue…


Teach Your Children To Recognize and Avoid Internet Scams


Let’s face it, many of our children know as much or more than
we do about computers. However, what they don’t know about
Internet scams can hurt them.

While computer-savvy toddlers are generally not at risk, as
soon as your child is able to go online and type information
into a search engine, email, or peer chat room, a whole world
of concerns can arise.

A child’s innocence opens them up to inappropriate material.
It also exposes household computers to viruses and family
members to online predators, Internet scams, spam and identity theft.

Take heart! With the right information, tools, and
communication you can protect your children and your
computers.

What You Can Do:

1. Educate yourself. The first step you should take is to
learn about possible threats to you and your family. Internet
scams affect the security of your PC and your personal
information. Become aware of how the Internet affects your
child’s safety too.

If your children are old enough to be downloading programs,
music and games from the Internet, then find out what sites
are trusted sources for this information (see below).

If your children have email accounts, learn how to recognize
spam and scams. Find out about the social networking sites
that your child may be part of. Learn the risks related with
those websites.

2. Teach your children. Once you know the threats, you can
begin to explain them to your children.

  • Tell them why they should not offer any personal information
    to strangers.

  • Depending on their age, teach them about all Internet scams,
    identity theft, copyright laws, and virus threats from
    unfamiliar downloads.

  • Educate them about the risks of posting personal information
    and pictures on social networking sites.

  • Tell them what to do if they view inappropriate material
    online.

  • Guide them in how to deal with communications from Internet
    strangers including people in forums, chat rooms, and social
    networking sites.

When told in a simple language, even the youngest child can
understand possible threats. For example, you can tell your
child that they shouldn’t download anything unless they know
who it is from because people put programs inside of other
programs that can break the computer.

3. Make family rules. An important step to online safety is
to make a list of rules that all computer users must follow to
protect the family from online scams.

Your family should make your own list, but depending on the
ages of your children, your rules might include some of the
following:

  • Do not download anything unless a parent approves it.

  • Do not click anything inside a “pop-up” window.
  • Do not share any personal information with websites or strangers.
  • Only visit parent-approved websites.
  • Do not open any email that is from a stranger.
  • Do not forward emails to mass groups.

4. Invest in
anti-virus
and
anti-spyware
software.

Protecting your computer from viruses is very important, with
or without children. Always keep your virus protection and
anti-spyware software running and up to date.

Always use a firewall.

If your computer has personal information (and almost all do),
consider using passwords to log onto the computer.

These simple measures can go a long way to protecting your
family from Internet scams.

5. Consider watching your children’s computer usage. You can
do this by keeping the computer in a central location in the
house. You can also install web-monitoring software.

While the Internet can be the source of many scams, it also
provides information to help you fight those scams. In fact,
there are online sources, including our site, ScamBusters.org,
dedicated to keeping you and your children aware of online
threats and Internet scams.

Five great sites with information on how to protect and
educate your children:

1. The National Cyber Security Alliance offers tools for
parents to teach their children Internet safety.

2. The
Business Software Alliance has a website designed to
teach parents and children about Internet scams and safety.
They offer safety games and puzzles for children to solve.
They also talk about cyber-ethics.

3. Backed by the Internet Education Foundation,
GetNetWise gives parents tools for educating themselves and their
children about Internet safety.

4. SafeKids.com offers articles on protecting your children
from Internet scams and online predators.

5. WiredKids.org offers articles and information for children
ranging from age 7 to 18 as well as information for adults and
parents. It offers children articles, video clips, and
stories written by children for children. Not all content is
about online safety.

The Internet is a wide, wonderful place. It offers an amazing
chance to learn, and it doesn’t have to be a scary place.

The most important way to keep your children safe is to teach
them about Internet scams and threats. Teach them how to stay
safe. Let them know that they can always talk to you if they
have questions about Internet scams and staying safe.

Time to close — we’re off to take a walk. See you next week.