Thursday, August 10, 2006

Keeping kids safe on the Internet

Young people are frequently Internet victims. Here is an extremely good article by Ryan Holeywell, Gannett News Service about how "young people" can protect themselves.

From the article:

The Federal Trade Commission reports that in 2005 Americans ages 18 to 24 made more than 69,000 identity theft complaints — more than any other age group. Here are 10 ways students can prevent identity theft and the headaches that come with it.

1. Watch what you blog. Millions of young people keep online diaries that are usually available to anyone surfing the Web. Safe blogging means not posting any personally identifiable information other than your first name, says Linda Foley, co-executive director of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego. "There's nothing wrong with blogging," Foley says. "Blogging can be fun — as long as you do it safely."

2. Don't get caught in a phishing net. Phishers try to steal your personal information by misdirecting you to a counterfeit Web page that looks identical to one you might use to pay a credit card bill or check your cellphone minutes. On this page, they ask you to type in personal information, such as your Social Security number and harvest this information. Doug Jacobson, an associate professor of computer and electrical engineering at Iowa State University, says an easy way to spot phishing is by hovering the cursor over a hyperlink while looking at the bottom of the browser. If the URL displayed seems very long, it's probably a fraud. "Think of the computer as your phone," Jacobson said. "If someone called you out of the blue on the phone and asked for your Social Security number, you wouldn't do it."

For the full article and additional tips, link here.

Of note, vishing attacks (using the telephone to steal information) are on the rise. I'm not sure I completely agree with Mr. Jacobson on this one.

Young people (too often) are the targets of more serious crimes involving their personal safety.

Here is ANOTHER resource that teaches the young (and us older folks) how to be safe in the cyberworld:


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