When you hear adults saying, “kids are helpless,” it makes you angry, right? You bet it does even if you are the most self-sustained teen in the history of your family. Unfortunately, the phrase often becomes a blanket statement due to folks who: mindlessly abuse their parents’ credit cards by buying stuff for mobile games or readily download games or apps from unreliable, sometimes obviously, websites that install Trojans and other pieces of malware.
Let’s not beat around the bush and lay it out simply:: don’t be a naive slowpoke. Taking an interest in online security you can’t afford to believe that the Internet is a place of cute fairy unicorns and beautiful people. The World Wide Web is a direct reflection of real world full of good guys and bad guys. There are no angels on the Web, but criminals do inhabit this uncontrollable place and use its anonymity for their own sake.
We are not telling you this to scare you or to turn you into a goody two shoes. But you do need to be more vigilant for yourself and for your parents, especially if they neglect online security. Unfortunately, there are too many adults who do not follow even basic Internet security rules, choose weakest passwords ever and fall for well-known phishing baits. But who said you can’t be better than them in this game and even teach them a thing or two?
Remember: everybody lies
You should explain to your parents that:
- Not all Internet users are who they say that they are. That “cool programmer” might just be a kid who can’t do his homework. A “girl from a nearby school” could be a bored, bearded man living in a far-off country. And this tough guy with lots of attractive pictures all over the Instagram could be just some loser from El Armpito, NM, who’s the only achievement is good skills on Google images search.
- The same story holds true for websites. Remember that not every site is reliable. Some of them might display deliberately false information for various reasons. Always check the facts on several sources, preferably well-known, reliable ones. Be sure to speak of your suspicions with parents if you’re not sure.
A family needs a person who cares about cyber security. And you can be the one.