Internet Risks for Teenagers and Online Predation

Are you worried about the Internet risks for your teenager? Wondering how you can make sure your teen is safe from a lot of the scams or predators online?

Internet-Risks-and-online-predationThe best way to ensure your teen is safe online is to be really open to them about what risks they might find online. Many teenagers feel that they are invisible – that nothing can harm them, especially online. In reality there are a lot of predators online who are waiting to scam people into revealing private information. Teaching your teen to be safe online is an invaluable skill – it is not only young people that run into problems online, but anyone who is overly trusting. Many adults have lost considerable amounts of money through scams and damaged their computers through downloading viruses.

Internet Risks: Identity thieves
This type of Internet risk can manifest itself in numerous ways, including people emailing you to congratulate you for winning a large lotto draw and asking for personal information. Some people pose as banks asking for personal information, while others pitch themselves as a company that has a large inheritance for you, but needs some information to process it. This can be masked in so many ways it’s hard to offer a hard and fixed rule as to when it’s happening, but make sure you tell your teen not to give out any personal information. If they are curious about something online that is asking for more information, make sure they check with you otherwise they could see themselves falling victim to identity theft.

Internet Risks: Phishing
This is when a fake website poses as a real one in order to obtain information that they can use to withdraw money from your accounts. Common examples of this are bank websites or websites posing to be Paypal. Just be sure that you check that the URL you are using is the correct one and that everything seems legit.

Internet Risks: Online Predators
Sometimes adults will pose as teenagers and try to organize meet ups with other teens to get closer to them or to enter into some kind of relationship. There are even some adults who use the Internet to meet younger people to hurt and abuse them – although this is rare, it is a risk. Make sure you let your teen know that they shouldn’t meet anyone from the Internet by themselves and that people might not be as they seem. There have been numerous cases reported of teens who have been lured into dangerous situations by people they met online.

Internet Risks: Viruses
A lot of dodgy websites, such as those associated with porn and illegal activities have viruses or software that automatically downloads to your computer to cause damage. If your teen frequents such websites they are much more likely to end up with a computer that is infected by viruses and does not operate properly. Letting them know that these sites are high risk and that they should  use a pop up blocker is a great way to extend the life of their computer.

What other Internet risks do you think your teen needs to be aware of? Have you had a decent talk with your teen about safety online?

Image Credit: Bplanet/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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