7 risks kids face online

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From studying and connecting with friends to playing online games, most kids are using the internet these days. But while it's a great resource in many ways, it also poses potential dangers.  You can stay one step ahead of potential risks with some common just by knowing what to watch for. 

1. Online scams targeting kids.

Scammers target everyone, and kids are no exception. Through fake social media profiles, giveaways, and scholarship schemes, your kids may be tricked into giving up personal info, money, or even your passwords.

2. Child identity theft.

Cybercriminals trick kids into giving up personal information, such as their full names, birthdays, addresses, etc. That’s all they need to commit child identity theft and take out credit cards or loans in your child’s name.

3. Cyberbullying.

This isn’t your typical locker room bully situation. Cyberbullies use digital technology like social media to hurt your child online, which could cause lasting psychological damage.

4. Online predators.

Young children and teens can sometimes be manipulated online for potentially abusive and exploitative purposes.  They can exist anywhere your kids spend time online—online games, social media sites, or even YouTube. Sometimes, they’ll even pose as a child themselves to build a relationship with children.

5. Inappropriate content.

Violent, sexual, or other inappropriate content your kids aren't prepared for can come in the form of malicious websites, forums, and even pop-ups. 

6. Malware and other viruses.

Your child could be tricked into downloading malicious files or clicking dangerous links disguised as free or pirated materials. Once a family device is infected, hackers can spy on your kids or scan your hard drive for sensitive information, photos, and videos.

7. Internet and device overuse.

Too much device time can cause some tension for some families, so setting time limits on devices and apps can be a simple and powerful way to help children find the right balance. 

While every parent wants to keep their kids safe online, the truth is that there’s no guaranteed way to make it happen.

By educating your children (and yourself!) about internet safety, you can help your kids avoid the scariest online threats. For even more help on this, check out some of our other resources like 8 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

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