Kate Hawkesby: Young people need to be more wary about online scams

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Fri, 18 Oct 2019, 9:32AM

Kate Hawkesby: Young people need to be more wary about online scams

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Fri, 18 Oct 2019, 9:32AM

We often hear about older people being the target of scams, but it seems young people also need to be wary.

The Commission for Financial Capability is warning young people are at risk of social media scams and there're various ways their social media accounts can get hacked.

Fraud Education Manager Bronwyn Groot is highlighting the importance of privacy settings, as one way to prevent scammers hijacking young people's accounts.

But what young person hell bent on follower numbers is going to shut up their social media and make it private?

Probably very few of them.

Obviously anyone can get scammed, but it’s easy to assume our kids are more tech savvy than we are.

As parents we often defer to teenagers when it comes to all things digital or online, yet we need to remember everybody needs protecting.

Messenger apps are a target apparently, as well as open social media accounts.

Scammers can steal photos, gather personal information, pose as authority figures asking for money.

They can also fraudulently identify themselves as people close to you, even mimicking similar language used to you or your friends.

The CFFC advises to regularly check security settings on social media accounts and to keep them private if possible.

It also suggests parents warn their children about scams and about staying vigilant.

But that’s easier said than done isn’t it.

Managing younger kids online access is easier than trying to manage teenagers.

A teenager would need to part with their phone first to allow you to do that, and the odds of that ever happening are less than zero.

Add to that the fact that many teenagers believe they’re ten foot tall and bullet proof and that none of this will ever happen to them. Which ironically is the catch cry of many scam victims, they can’t believe it happened to them.

But it's like whack a mole these days, each time one scam is busted, another one pops up.

The experts say the best way to stay on top of your kids social media and online behaviour is to start good habits early.

Like as soon as they first get their hands on a device. Teaching the value of privacy and not to trust something just because it pops up on their screen.

But it doesn’t mean they don’t get complacent.

And by the time they hit the teenage years, they’re less inclined to be openly sharing their social media accounts ins and outs with their parents.

So it's a good reminder to stay vigilant online and just hope that young people hear the message and actually do so.

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