In the modern, digital world, children are increasingly coming into contact with the Internet, playing games, joining social media platforms, and communicating with strangers online. Whether your child is making new friends on Facebook, playing video games, or they are surfing the Internet in search of products to buy, you want them to exercise caution and make safe payments to trusted websites only, given that it’s your payment card information they are submitting.
Fortunately, the world has come a long way in protecting your personal information and financial transactions from hackers and online scammers, yet your children cannot inherently be aware of these dangers without prior education and training. Here are the three things you can teach your kids about secure payments online.
How to know if a website is safe
Online scammers will use a myriad of seemingly benign methods to try to fool you into believing that their website or link is safe for transactions. Even the majority of adults have no idea what constitutes a safe link and how it differs from a fraud and more likely than not, your child won’t be able to tell the difference either.
First of all, a safe website will display a padlock symbol in the browser’s window frame, indicating that the website is secure. It will pop up on a website where you can register or sign in, and you should make sure that the symbol is not displayed on the page itself, as it is a clear sign of a fraudulent website.
Next, the website address should begin with “https”, with the letter “s” meaning secure. Additionally, your computer should have the latest version of your browser installed with enhanced security features such as displaying the site name or address in the colour green, meaning the domain is trusted.
How to pay for online goods
Whether you or your child are paying for products, private tuition courses or services, online payments have become an inviolable part of a modern lifestyle, and you should know how to make safe monetary transactions.
Firstly, credit cards are considered to be extremely safe methods of payment, yet there are contemporary mediators such as PayPal that are specifically designed to elevate personal data safety and transaction security. You should try to use a mediator if possible, and if not, your credit card is your next safest option.
Practices to avoid
While it might seem tempting to buy a product or service immediately, you child has to be aware of the possible dangers and remain vigilant at all times. When paying for video games, they should use trusted websites and place their payment through reputable companies, and if they intend to make in-game or in app purchases, they should make sure that their information is safe.
It is always better to have an account with a trusted mediator than to allow your child to handle your credit cards on his own. One wrong payment through your credit card and your account can be severely crippled - this is the kind of damage your bank might not be able to reverse.
Do not let your child surf the Internet without an up-to-date antivirus agent that can check for fraudulent website activity and stop any transaction attempts in time. Moreover, the best and safest option is to complete all online purchases yourself. Instruct your child to run every purchasing decision by you and to ask you to complete an online transaction on his or her behalf, rather than risking losing the money to scammers, or worse.
Online payment security is of the utmost importance in the modern, digital world. Children are the primary targets of scammers and fraudulent websites so make sure you teach your kids these three essential lessons about secure payments.