Just in time for the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Identity Theft Resource Center, in collaboration with CyberScout, has released an investigation entitled "Social Media Habit and You". The survey focuses on how parents and guardians supervise their children's online work focusing on issues like cyber hygiene.
So what exactly is cyber hygiene?
You teach your children how to exercise basic hygiene. This is it-but online. Since today's children are digital natives, their online travel is increasingly beginning while they are still in the cradle, sometimes the information about good cyber hygiene goes away in a fog of assumptions from non-native to the digital world.
Identity theft claims 16.7 million victims in a year. More than 1 million children – or 1.48 percent of minors – were victims of identity theft or fraud in 2017. Two thirds of these victims were 7 years or younger.
The way the kids "get" vary – it may be a phishing email that delivers a malicious code payload or a smishing scam (the text version of the same), it might be a smart scam artist who fools his or her goal of sharing personal information that later used to commit different types of fraud-but the only thing that most fraud is based on is lack of knowledge. Couples with lack of attention – something that is a "local feature" for today's young digital natives – and fraud is not an opportunity, it's a probability.
Cyber hygiene can be many things, but the key is to make sure you do everything you can to make sure of the dangers that are "out there."
Basics are increasingly known, but worth checking out with your children.
- Only download platform-enabled apps on your devices. Unapproved apps can put you in a world of trouble because they can steal your information while providing entertainment.
- Train your children at the dangers of sending social media information. Talk about strangers who can trick and control their privacy settings. It's also a good idea to insist that you get "follow" or "friend" them so you can monitor their online activity. But keep in mind that you may want to talk to them about some "secret" accounts they use.
- Always look for "https" in the URL of the websites you visit. You can also look for the green padlock (sometimes the name of the company or organization name is also shown in green), which means that this site uses an Extended Validation Certificate (EV).
- Use a password manager or, at least, long and strong passwords containing uppercase letters, symbols ($,!,%), And numbers. Many kids, without supervision, choose easily to remember passwords containing personally identifiable information (eg birthdays).
- Be careful about what you click. If you receive an unexpected email that contains an attachment, it may be malicious software. Train your children to always double-click URLs for misspellings and email addresses. Remember that e-greetings are also a popular method that scammers use to trick people into clicking bad links.
But let's say you're doing everything right. Unfortunately, you are still not sure, and unfortunately your children are not. In fact, your children have an even more difficult problem. Identity thieves like to use children's identities because they are unused and often remain unanswered. It gives the scam a long way to commit fraud before crimes are detected. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for a major fraud prevention (new account building): Credit freezes.
All three major credit agencies are now required to offer free credit to all Americans and their relatives. A credit freeze is undoubtedly the best way to prevent identity theft in your child's name, and now that it is free of charge there is no reason not to put in place. The information is moving online in a critical way, and even the best cyber hygiene can not protect your loved ones from compromise.