This is number 11 in a series of great articles designed to put in school newsletters to keep parents informed around the latest cybersafety issues. They have been developed by the Cybersmart team at ACMA and are available via http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Outreach/Connected.aspx
Schools are encouraged to copy and paste these in your school newsletter or share them online. Find the series tagged under Cybersmart
Protecting your child against online identity theft
As your child grows up they develop responsibility to access services such as a library membership, bank accounts and a mobile phone. This includes managing the use of PINS and passwords to ensure that personal information is safe and only revealed to appropriate people and organisations.
Identity theft is when your child’s personal information is used without their knowledge or permission. Personal information can be accessed from their online accounts and with sufficient information, criminals can transfer money directly from bank accounts or impersonate your child online on social networking sites.
Your child can reduce the chance of identity theft by:
- Using secure websites for shopping and online banking. Look for the padlock symbol, a URL that begins with ‘https’ and correct spelling and logos.
- Monitoring their content. If their profile has been hacked, shut it down immediately. Some sites also allow you to set up notifications when your account is logged in from an unregistered device.
- Changing their passwords regularly. Passwords should never be shared, should be changed frequently and be a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
- Not getting phished. Ensure your child doesn’t respond to calls or emails from ‘banks’ asking for pin numbers and passwords. If they are concerned it is not the real bank, hang up and call back their publicly listed number. If an email from a bank/credit card asks you to click on a link chances are it’s a scam.
- Reporting it. If your child thinks that they have had their personal details stolen or used without their knowledge, they should talk to their bank or other related institution.
If you, your child or someone you know wants to talk about identity theft, visit the Cybersmart Online Helpline (www.cybersmart.gov.au/report.aspx) or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
DEECD resources can be found http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/parents.aspx