Resist… fishing! Teach your children to avoid e-fishing

Cybersecurity Month continues and this week's theme is "Resist Fishing". Oh yes, the nemesis for the world of cybersecurity - the ubiquitous and highly effective phishing attack.

According to the FBI's Internet Crime Report 2020, last year e-fishing had the highest number of cybercrime victims in the United States. Unfortunately, some of the victims were children.

Phishing, IGURU

ESET cybersecurity experts give some basic strategies that parents can follow to help their children avoid falling victim to the next attack phishing. For those of you who want to learn more about "child and Internet safety" you can visit the ESET saferkidsonline site.

But what exactly did we say is e-fishing?

"Phishing" is a disastrous method of cyber-attack based on "social engineering". The following is a brief definition of e-fishing by our colleagues:

"The electronic fishing is a cybercrime in which one or more targets are accessed via email, telephone or text message by someone pretending to represent a legitimate entity to entice individuals to disclose sensitive data such as personal information, bank and credit card information and passwords. ”.
One of the most common examples of phishing is an email that appears to have been sent by a bank but actually leads users to malicious URLs in an attempt to extract their personal information.

How to talk to your kids about e-fishing

As our friends at the National Cybersecurity Alliance suggest, it is important to explain to our children that they need to develop a cautious approach to digital communication. Children need to understand that an email, an SMS, an instant social media message, a phone call or a chat can be an e-fishing attempt. And most importantly, they must understand that it is the guards themselves who protect the gates from these attacks.
Of course, this is easier said than done. E-fishing has evolved and its perpetrators are capable of deceiving even the most careful adults, let alone children.

The "think before you click" tip can be very helpful. Another approach for parents is to instill in the children the "ask me before you click or open it" mentality. This should apply to any unexpected message coming from a stranger or even someone you know.

Tips for Detecting an Fishing Attack

If we are to allow our children to spend time in front of the screen and have the responsibilities of a "guardian", we must show them how to detect cyber-fishing attempts.

Here, the word "show" is the key word, as simply explaining phishing attacks (and their consequences) is not enough.
In the educational video Protect yourself from Phishing (Stay Safe From Phishing), for example, Google uses a "robber" character to get the point across.
You can show children all the different places these "robbers" go to "fish" their victims, perhaps by creating and printing a list of "places we do not click on things we receive from strangers".

This list might include, for example:

• Email
• Text messages
• Messages on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter
• Whatsapp
• Online games

In the same way you can create a “STOP! DO NOT CLICK! ” to discuss it with your children. This is an opportunity to reinforce some of the warning signs that a message may be an attempt at e-fishing, such as:

  1. It is not addressed to you by your name
  2. There are spelling mistakes and the formatting of the text is a bit strange
  3. The message contains attachments
  4. You do not recognize who the sender is
  5. The content is scary or makes you feel uncomfortable
  6. He asks for personal information
  7. Contains strange links

Finally, you can show your children a real example of an e-fishing attempt when you receive such a message yourself. It will certainly happen, and it is a good opportunity to present the risk of e-fishing much more effectively.

For more information on Cybersecurity Month you can visit:

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