Parents are typically well-skilled in recognizing a bogus email otherwise known as a phishing scam, but what about kids? Would they know the difference especially when it’s from a very sophisticated hacker?
Phishing scams can be very damaging and they’ve gotten more and more believable. Scams coming from legitimate companies like eBay, iTunes, Amazon or Facebook requesting personal information often look very real. The emails may include a link asking to confirm passwords, identity or other personal information. They can arrive in a child’s email inbox just the same as any adult. They’re often disguised as their email provider, online gaming service, social media sites or even their school.
Some phishing emails are easy to spot like the ones that include misspellings or farfetched requests for money from a foreign country. However, they may also be sent with a company logo that makes them appear official. The emails will usually ask for a response with personal information through email or through a phone number to call back. The email may also provide a link that will download a form to be returned.
It is important to make kids are aware of the dangers of providing personal information to anyone. Kids should know they should ask a parent first or even contact a customer service department to find out if the request for information is legit. A phone number should always be verified before simply calling it. Some numbers can lead straight to a scammer posing as a representative of the company.
Although kids are very savvy when it comes to digital navigating, they can be gullible when it comes to adults requesting personal information and obtaining their trust. For this reason, it is important to educate kids about the dangers of answering unsolicited emails that may very well be phishing scams.