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Kids are at Risk

Kids are at Risk

the Buzz Online

Children face a variety of challenges that were unknown only a few decades ago, such as: cyber bullying, online predators and scams and being exposed to inappropriate content.

Jim Kilian, Director of Information Security at Midco, said parents need to be mindful of what their children are doing online, but should also take advantage of technological solutions available to reduce the risks children face on the web.

Firewalls, restricting Internet access, privacy settings on profiles and settings on search engines should all be managed by parents, Kilian said.

But technology can’t do everything, he pointed out. So even after taking advantage of what technology has to offer, talking to your children about their Internet use is important because young people are more susceptible to online threats.

“The biggest problem we see with kids involves their inability to recognize risks and threats (online),” Kilian said.

For instance, a child would recognize a tiger as a threat right away. But in the electronic world, a child is dealing with a person that isn’t physically there, making the threat much more difficult to distinguish.

In chat rooms and on social sites, your child has no idea who is at the other end of the conversation and it could be someone using a con game to gain his or her trust. Conversations with strangers, emails announcing prize winnings, unclear website offers and anything that is just too good to be true should be cautiously approached or avoided entirely.

Parents are the key to educating children about online predators and scams. Simple steps like keeping the computer in an open area, explaining to your child to not post personal identifiers and how to keep information private and for friends-only can go a long way to protect a child online.

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When purchasing online, keeping your bank details secure is crucial.

You can pay directly from your bank account through PayPal, but it is worth noting: if you use this method and things go wrong, certain consumer protection options that apply to credit cards may not be available to you. So, always select the credit card option when using PayPal, advises

All U.S. credit cards are required to correct any billing related to fraud. They also have an obligation, if you notify them in the manner set out in their policies, to credit any charge related to a certain kind of dispute. And, if you have a valid dispute that isn’t resolved by the seller, that credit becomes permanent. Even if PayPal and other payment mechanisms offer buyer protection, it may not be as good as what you get under existing credit card dispute laws. So, if in doubt, opt for a credit card payment.

WiredSafety recommends using one card for all online purchases. You’ll find it’s easier to track spending and protect your financial identity at the same time.