Social media and online games are today's virtual playground, and that is where much cyber bullying takes place. Children can be ridiculed on social media exchanges.In online gaming, their player personas can be subjected to incessant attack, turning the game from an imaginative adventure into a humiliating ordeal that escalate into cyber bullying across multiple platforms and in real-life.
These days cyber predators often stalk children on the internet, taking advantage of their innocence, lack of adult supervision and abusing their trust. This can culminate in children being lured into dangerous personal encounters. These predators lurk on social media and gaming platforms that appeal to children. There, they can exploit not only children's innocence, but also their gift of imagination. "Let's play pretend" is a common tactic used to lure children.
Phishing is the use of emails that try to trick people into clicking on malicious links or attachments. These can be especially difficult for kids to detect because often, the email will appear to be from a friend or family member, saying simply, "Hey—thought you might like this!" Phishing emails and smishing texts can pop up at any time, but the cyber criminals who devise them keep watch on sites that are popular with children, and gather information such as email addresses and friends' names and other information to tailor their attacks.
Children might fall for scams that offer things they value, such as free access to online games or special features. As with phishing, cyber criminals can use sites popular with children to identify potential victims, and then promise prizes in return for what they want—like parents' credit card information.
Malware is computer software that is installed without the knowledge of permission of the victim and performs harmful actions on the computer. This includes stealing personal information from your computer. Cyber criminals often trick people into downloading malware. Phishing is one such trick, but there are others—such as convincing victims to download malware masquerading as games—can be especially enchanting to children.