TALK 2.0
How to talk to adults
about online safety
Most of the time, adults give nothing away. But when
they go online, they suddenly drop their guard. Which
is bizarre, because once you’re in cyber space, you
need to be more streetwise than ever.
Most adults think they’ll never
It’s a fact that most teenagers are
fall victim to an online scam.
more streetwise about using the
But that kind of attitude plays
web than many adults. So, it’s
right into the hands of cyber
your job to educate your parents,
criminals. Those who think they
aunties, uncles, grandparents
know better are often the ones
and any other adults you know
that are usually caught out in the
about the everyday Internet
end. After all, many adults seem
traps that could snare them and
to abandon all common sense
how best to avoid them. It’s time
online. We’ve seen MPs posting
for you to have ‘The Talk 2.0’.
stupid pictures of themselves
on Facebook, bankers writing
crazy emails that go viral and
loose them their jobs and even
politicians who can’t spell. D’uh!
And they say school exams are
getting easier?
To make ‘The Talk’ a little
less awkward, Trend
Micro has put together
a guide of some of the
most common online
traps, to help you talk to
the adults in your life.
Online dating
Ever done anything dumb for
adults fall victim to these kinds
love? Romantic scams are really
of scams. If your adult is looking
common. Crims have targeted
for love online, make sure that
dating services and online chat
they understand they need to
rooms for years because lonely
be really careful what info they
people often make easy targets.
reveal online and that they need
Scammers often create attractive
to take everyone’s claims with a
profiles to lure victims in. The
pinch of salt. Suggest they use
scammer then comes up with
fee-paying dating sites because
a sob story to encourage the
these are less likely to be riddled
victim to hand over personal
with con artists.
details, such as bank account
numbers. It sounds crazy but,
every year thousands of UK
Fake antivirus software
We’ve all seen pop-ups: “Your
virus product. Some fraudsters
computer is infected! Get help
even manage to hold PCs to
now!”. These alerts can cause
ransom by disabling it until
alarm for adults who think
the victim pays up. It’s really
their computer might have
easy to get caught out by this
been infected and many of
scam and loads of adults do
them whip out their credit card
every year. The best protection
without thinking. It could even
is to install some REAL security
cost them £20 - £30 a month
from a reputable brand such as
to buy non-existent AV. These
Trend Micro and back up your
pop-ups can look exactly like
important files.
the ones in Windows or an anti-
Facebook impersonation
Facebook is massive. With
your Facebook account is only
hundreds of millions of users
one small step away from
worldwide it’s no wonder
stealing your money too.
Becoming a Bot
performance. They can even
send from a hijacked PC are not
left in the sent folder.
scammers are crawling all
make sure that any emails they
over it too. They use phishing
The settings panel on Facebook
e-mails, Trojan horse infections,
has so many options it can be a
Some estimates have guessed
misleading ads and more to con
bit daunting for adults. Explain
that around 1 in every 20
their victims out of money.
to them that if in doubt, they
computers in the world is
should say ‘NO’ to everything.
infected. In other words,
But the crime adults need to
Also, make sure they choose the
someone you know could be
be most aware of is Facebook
option to publish only to close
Your adult’s computer might
helping a spammer or fraudster
impersonation. When a criminal
friends, rather than go public
already be under the influence
right now.
hacks into your Facebook
with everything.
of a criminal. If it gets infected
account they can learn a ton of
with a virus it could be turned
The web is jammed full of dodgy
information about you. Worse
into part of a Botnet – an army of
emails and websites that can
still, they can gain trusted access
hijacked home computers which
turn computers into a Bot, so
to friends and family, so it’s
crims use to send out millions of
users can’t afford to let their
really important to get your adult
spam e-mails or commit other
guard down. Emphasise the
to upgrade their password and
cyber crimes. They’re so sneaky
importance of keeping computer
check their security settings.
that it can all be done without
security software up to date and
Get them to think about their
your adult knowing their beloved
advise your adult to stay away
Facebook password and settings
PC could be doing such a thing.
from the web’s seedier side and
like their online bank account,
Cyber thieves can easily use
not to download illegal music or
because a criminal who hacks
machines without leaving
games, which are a big source of
a trace or slowing down its
Smartphone app scams
Faking it
More and more adults are
Tell your adult to always check
downloading apps onto their
the app’s developer and reviewer
smartphones. Viruses can be
comments before downloading
disguised in a game or app so
any app.
that if it’s downloaded, it can
steal information like important
passwords and credit card
details from the smartphone.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe
believe everything you read
anything on the web is real.
online – if it looks too good to be
There are so many fake blogs,
true it probably is. Suggest that
fake ads for fake miracle
they never buy anything online
products, fake work-at-home-
without Googling the thing +
jobs and fake websites saying
“scam” or “complaint”. One or
how great all of these fake things
two complaints is normal but,
are all over the web. You need
if there are loads it should set
to tell your adult that you can’t
alarm bells ringing.
Get rich quick scams
Everyone dreams of hitting it
first place. The problem is when
big and quitting their jobs. Well,
the victim calls up to claim the
scammers know this and are
prize money, they are told they
firing out millions of emails a
need to hand over a fee first.
day claiming that you’ve just
If they do, they never see that
won a large sum of money,
money again or the prize. Make
or something. The visions of a
sure your adult learns to be
dream home, fabulous holiday,
more cynical online.
Bank robbers
or other expensive goodies can
make adults forget they never
entered the competition in the
Even banking online can be
as their bank’s. Would they bank
dangerous. The best advice is
with someone that gives them a
never to open an email from the
false email address?
bank. Banks don’t email you, but
fraudsters do. If they look closely
Tell your adult to never give their
they’ll notice the real URL and
details to anyone online.
email address are not the same
Sites like eBay are really popular.
Never give bank details to
Most people on there are honest,
anyone online. Check the seller’s
but there are always a few who
rating and don’t trust anyone
will ask for banking details
who won’t give their address or
because ‘PayPal isn’t working’.
phone number.
There are a variety of internet job
for money to sign up in some
scams, ranging from fake jobs,
form. Mostly these scams are
to scams that try and collect
something that is too good to
your personal information, or
be true.
ask you to send money or make
purchases for them. Internet job
Some sites like Monster are
scams have some pretty simple
reputable, but they are difficult
signs. Usually, it is an unsolicited
to police and crims take
email. Other methods include
advantage of this.
job advertisements, which asks
We hope that the top ten tips listed above give you some
ideas on how to make sure your parents, grandparents,
aunties, uncles or any other adults you know stay safe online.
Adults can do a lot in keeping themselves safe online and it’s
really about being careful with the informationyou share and
with whom you share it.
We all know that kids are more streetwise on the internet
than most adults, so now’s your chance to teach them a thing
or two and make sure the cheats and fraudsters don’t win.
Sources of information
and advice
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TrendLabs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Trend Micro Incorporated. All other company
and/or product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their owners. Information
contained in this document is subject to change without notice. Trend Micro (UK) Limited, a Limited
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