Phishing attacks are cyber scams manifested through fake texts, emails, or pop-up messages to get personal information and money from others.
So, in this article, we’ll look at what phishing attacks for kids are and how to teach your little ones the importance of staying safe online.
Types of Phishing Attacks
Information is the best tool that parents use to protect their kids online. So, it’s good to know there are different types of phishing attacks, such as:
- Deceptive Phishing- email scam where scammers represent themselves as a legitimate company.
- Spear Phishing- email scam that uses trustworthy sources to steal sensitive information and money
- Clone Phishing- email scam that asks you to immediately log into your account;
- Whaling Phishing- email scam that targets high-profile employees;
How Phishing Attacks Work
Firstly, phishing emails or messages look legit, and almost always contain a link that forwards you to what seems to be a legitimate website. Then, you might be asked to fill in private information, make payments, or enter credit card information.
Warning Signs of a Phishing Attack
Although phishing attacks are well thought out and organized, they come with warning signs not to trust them. These warning signs include:
- Suspicious emails or messages;
- Unfamiliar senders;
- Urgent or threatening messages;
- Requests for money and personal information;
Preventing Phishing Attacks
Luckily for parents and children, phishing attacks can easily be prevented. There are many ways to prevent phishing attacks, such as:
- Using Anti-Phishing Software;
- Using strong passwords;
- Enabling Two-Factor Authentication;
- Keeping system and software up-to-date;
- Educating kids about online safety;
Responding to a Phishing Attack
When you realize that you’ve been exposed to a phishing attack, the first thing to do is disconnect from the Internet. Then you must change your passwords on your email and any other accounts linked with that email.
Last but not least, you must report phishing attacks. To report a phishing attack, forward the phishing email to email@example.com (the Anti-Phishing Working Group).
Common Phishing Scams Targeting Kids
Phishing scams especially target children since they are more vulnerable to these attacks. Most of the time, these scams pose as fake giveaways, and children often fall for this trap.
For example, children can encounter phishing scams on video games, social media, while shopping online, or through email.
Helping Kids Stay Safe Online
To help kids stay safe, you can monitor their online activity. You can do this by manually checking their devices or by using parental control apps like Qustodio, Family Link, mSpy, etc.
Moreover, you must have open and honest communication with your children and teach them how to recognize phishing scams by recreating scenarios at home.
The Impact of Phishing Attacks on Kids
Children might feel embarrassed after falling for phishing scams, and this can take quite a toll on their emotional health and reputation among peers.
Moreover, a family can suffer from a huge financial loss because the main goal of phishing scams is to steal money and information from online users.
Phishing scams can often be encountered online. Their goal is to steal private information and money from other people.
So, parents must be aware of this online threat and teach children the importance of online safety. In today’s digital world, being safe online is just as important as being safe in real life.
What should I do if my child falls for a phishing scam?
You should disconnect your child’s device from the Internet, change their passwords, report the scam, and talk with your child about how to avoid these scams in the future.
How can I tell if my child has been targeted by a phishing attack?
If an account asks for personal information or money from your child, it most likely is a phishing scam, no matter how legitimate the account seems to be.
Are there any age restrictions for using anti-phishing software?
No, there aren’t any age restrictions for using anti-phishing software.