Despite being a leader in technology and connectivity, statistics show that people and organizations in the US are still vulnerable to online scams. Online scams have cost both corporate setups and individuals billions of dollars over the past few years.
The biggest problem with internet scams is that there are enough out there to target pretty much anyone and everyone. You don’t need to be a wealthy or financially successful individual to fall prey to these scams. Scammers can be so shameless that you have scamming schemes directed at everyone from the old and infirm to young children.
Instagram and Scams
Numerous children and young people today have social media accounts among which Instagram is particularly popular. The flipside of this is like other online platforms, scammers have figured out ways to dupe and trick people, particularly those from the younger generation over platforms such as this.
The question is; as a parent – what does one do?
Teach your Children about Social Media Safety
Before allowing your children to sign up to social media, it helps to educate them regarding the basics of social media safety. This includes explaining the concept of privacy, of regulating what they post and of course being careful who they connect with. Avoiding disclosure of personal information is another thing you can teach them.
It helps to have a ‘no strangers policy’ to mitigate the amount of random interactions they engage in. Another thing that would help here is explaining to them how everything they come across online is not safe and how they should connect with you if they are not sure how to proceed in any situation.
Educate yourself and Your Children about the Risks
Scammers will try and use every avenue and loophole to rope in unsuspecting victims. Sometimes the best prevention is to remain up to date and educated on the kind of scams out there and what they may poses as.
Learn about fake accounts and what means they use to lure in and harm those they are aimed at. If you and your children are already well informed regarding such scams, you can spot them from a mile away and hence avoid the same!
Look into Surveillance Software
You have numerous phone spy applications and other parental phone surveillance software suited to both android and iPhone operating systems. These applications allow you to track any phone and online related activity.
There are situations where children being children may engage in unsafe interactions and online behaviors despite what you may have taught them. In such situations, it helps to be a little extra vigilant so that if things go do south, you’ll know what is up and how to address it from the get go!
Have your Own Account
You may be a parent who feels they have outgrown social media or someone who is not very interested in it. If you have children however, it helps to have your own social media accounts. Having your own Instagram account for instance will ensure that you know exactly how the platform works as well as the kind of people you find on it.
Having an understanding will allow you to communicate better with your children and have yet another line or channel of care and supervision when needed!
Until a time that internet scams and social media predators are a thing of the past, parents the world over, the US included need to step up their game by way of stringency and vigilance. As we mentioned earlier, children are children. They will be curious, they will experiment and from time to time they will find themselves in tricky or unsafe situations.
At such times, it is up to you parents to do whatever you can to make sure your children are protected from scammers and other online threats!