We often give our children a technological device with access to email or texting and forget to take the time to teach them about the dangers of cybercriminals.
Email is the most common method cybercriminals use, but more of them are also showing up by text. So we must take the time to teach our teens how cybercriminals operate and their digital attempts to manipulate, influence or deceive them into taking action that isn’t in their best interest.
3 Ways Cybercriminals Target Through Email and Text
Phishing: this is a process where cybercriminals will trick you with emails disguised as coming from a trusted contact or company. Cybercriminals send persuasive emails to get you to provide information or money by clicking on a malicious link or opening an infected attachment. The goal is to trick you into sharing data.
Spear phishing: these are communications that are targeted and appear more personal. Cybercriminals are getting good at mining personal information from the internet or your social media accounts to make the information in the email appear more legitimate.
Smishing: targeted text messages wanting you to click a link or take urgent action.
Our children must understand that cybercriminals want them to click or open a link to gain access to private accounts and personal information, and it’s up to us to teach them the warning signs, so they don’t fall into their trap.
🚩 IDENTIFY THE RED FLAGS 🚩
Questions to ask yourself to determine if the suspicious email is legitimate…
- Does the subject line lure you into urgency, asking you to act fast?
- Does the content evoke emotion, making you feel that you must act immediately?
- Did it come at an unusual time outside of business hours?
- Are there typos or grammatical errors?
- Can you verify the sender, or does the email address look shady?
Stay alert and stay skeptical! Listen to your intuition, and don’t take any action requested in an email or text unless you are confident the communication is legitimate. Teach your child to always run it by you if they aren’t sure before clicking on any link or following any action.
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