Help Your Kids Prevent Phishing Attacks

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 10.51.15 AMAs a parent, you’ve probably spent some time talking to your kids about staying safe online. One online risk that doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon is phishing.

Phishing is defined as the act of defrauding or attempting to defraud someone online by various methods, including posing as a trusted institution or other party, and is usually attempted using email.

Successful phishing scams can result in theft of critical financial information or even your whole identity. As serious as that sounds, many young internet users are either too trusting or too carefree to protect themselves. Did you know that 91% or personal cyber attacks begin with some form of Phishing email? Parents can walk their teens and pre teens through the following list as a means of explaining how to keep personal details safe online.

Install anti-phishing software – McAfee, Symantec and other software vendors either have stand alone anti-phishing software, of have it bundled with their standard offerings. Be warned, though, that any software is unlikely to intercept or flag every phishing attempt. In fact, of the estimated 156 million phishing emails sent daily, 16 million make it past security filters.

Be skeptical of all incoming emails – Even if an email looks like it comes from a trusted financial institution, company or organization, it might not be.

Links and attachments – Do not click links or open attachments unless you are sure you know that the email is coming from a trusted institution.

Financial information – Never reply to an email or complete a form if the sender is requesting sensitive financial or personal information unless you are sure it comes from a legitimate source. Be especially wary of giving out banking information or your social security number.

Pick up the phone – If you suspect an email is legitimate but are concerned in the least that it may be a phishing attempt, call the company directly and ask whether they sent the email.

https:// – If you are referred to a website, the “s” on the end of the http in the website address denotes that the URL is secure. Check the address bar to ensure that the website is legit.

While security software is improving, the sophistication level of hackers is also increasing. Convince your kids and teens to be skeptical of incoming emails, and protect themselves from phishing attacks.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.

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