As cyber threats targeting young gamers continue to surge, it is crucial for parents to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect their children. According to cybersecurity company Kaspersky, more than 7 million attacks on children were reported in 2022, with cybercriminals increasingly exploiting popular gaming titles like Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Apex Legends.
Recent data from Kaspersky reveals a concerning trend of cyber criminals capitalising on children's fascination with gaming. Phishing pages disguised as popular games have become rampant online, tricking young players into clicking on malicious links that ultimately infect their parents' devices with malware.
Kurt Baumgartner, a principal security researcher with Kaspersky's Global and Research Analysis Team, emphasises the importance of educating children about the risks associated with sharing personal information in game chats. Parents should consistently remind their children not to disclose their names, addresses, or any other sensitive details to strangers or other players.
Baumgartner highlights that cyber criminals target not only gaming sites but any trending topic. They exploit the popularity of events like new music releases or blockbuster movies to distribute their malware across various platforms. Parents should encourage their children to exercise caution when encountering suspicious links, regardless of the context.
In addition, consider employing parental control applications to monitor and manage your child's online activities as many children’s apps in Play Store have privacy issues, Baumgartner further advised. These tools offer features such as content filtering, time restrictions, and activity logs, empowering parents to ensure a safer online environment.
Also, maintain open lines of communication with your child regarding online safety. Regularly engage in conversations about the potential risks of cyberattacks and the importance of responsible online behaviour. By fostering trust and understanding, parents can empower their children to make informed decisions and seek help when needed.
Encourage your child to engage in online gaming and other internet-related activities in a common or family area. This way, parents can easily supervise their child's online interactions, detect any potential threats, and provide immediate guidance or intervention when necessary.
Ensure that your devices have reputable and up-to-date antivirus software installed and your online activities run on a hide VPN. Regularly update the software to guard against emerging threats and potential vulnerabilities, providing an additional layer of protection for your child's online experience.
Establish clear guidelines for online activities within the family. Develop a set of rules that promote responsible behaviour, such as avoiding suspicious links, reporting unusual or suspicious activities, and seeking parental permission before downloading any software or files.
By following the expert recommendations, parents can mitigate the risks associated with online gaming. Stay proactive and ensure your child's digital experiences are safe, enjoyable, and secure.