The Potential Risks of Social Media

The way kids communicate has been completely transformed by social media. Between Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Kik and WhatsApp; there are so many ways for young people to connect with their peers. At its best, social media is a wonderful way to share stories and keep in touch with others. At its worst, social media exposes users to a potential invasion of privacy and cybercrime risks. 

Our goal is to help you spot these crimes and take action. Here’s a list of ways social media can cause issues for young people in our connected world.

TMI: Sharing too much personal information online can be harmful to cybersafety. Young people should never share specific personal details. For example; exact birthdays, home addresses, or names of places they frequent. If a cybercriminal gets a hold of this information, they can piece it together to steal your child’s identity. If you believe your child has become a victim of identity theft, The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) can help you check their credit. FraudSupport.org has the next steps and resources for reporting available to help your child recover.

Weak security: This one goes hand-in-hand with oversharing personal information. Cybercriminals can piece together information to hack into your child’s accounts and devices. These crimes only become easier with weak passwords and a lack of two-factor authentication. If you or your child notice unfamiliar activity on their accounts, use our resource page to report the fraudulent activity and begin recovering.

Cyberbullying/Harassment: Ideally, social media would be a place for positive interaction. However, this is not always the case. Having an active social media account means that just about anyone can contact your child. From bullies at school to strangers from miles away, this 24/7 access can quickly become detrimental. If you notice your child displaying sudden changes in behavior or social withdrawal, they may be dealing with cyber-harassment. Visit us here for resource help. 

The National Center for Cyber Safety and Education has a wealth of educational tools, infographics, and data to help you navigate this topic. Visit them here to learn more. Remember, cybercrime can happen to anyone at any age. If you have other cybercrime or fraud-related concerns, be sure to visit us at FraudSupport.org for help.