Published on Jan 06, 2023
Online Shopping Safety for Kids: A Guide
Are you concerned about the online safety of your kids while shopping? What are the risks that come with online shopping? And are you looking for ways to ensure that your child is shopping safely online? If so, your search ends here.
Undoubtedly, in today's world, the internet has revolutionized how we shop and trade everything. Online shopping has become a way of life for families and has become part of the educational curriculum for their children.
However, online shopping comes with a lot of risks. Your child may overspend, get scammed, expose personal information and credit card information, and even face cyberbullying. These are the risks that affect your family financially.
Teaching your children about online payment can be challenging at first. But do not worry, we are here to assist you. This article outlines ways to keep your children safe while shopping online.
Online Shopping Safety Tips for Kids
When shopping online, it is important to be informed about what your child is buying and how much it costs. Here are some safety tips for you to consider.
Set ground rules
Before teaching your child about online shopping, you need to make rules. You wouldn't wish your child to waste your money buying unlimited and unwanted products. Here are some of the parental controls rules that parents must apply.
- Allow them to shop under your supervision
- Allow them to use a credit card with permission
- Set a list of authorized shopping sites, do not allow your kids to shop from outside the list.
- Don't let your kids waste their time online to prevent internet addiction.
- Ask them to reduce social media access.
Teach your child the complete online shopping process
Your child needs to learn how to buy the required products online. Follow the tips so that your child won't make mistakes while purchasing online.
- Teach your children to find authorized retailers; this prevents them from getting scammed by scammers.
- While buying your next product, show your kid the whole process of buying a product from start to finish.
- Show them how to add items to the cart, check out, payment process and check email for confirmation.
- Teach them to double-check items and shipping totals.
- Check the number of the ordered item so that there won't be mistakes.
- Avoid them from buying the products advertised at a low price on different social media platforms.
Decide on payment methods
There are several ways of payment methods when it comes to online shopping. Paypal and Cash App are digital-only payment methods, but children (under the age of 18) are not allowed to use these. Prohibiting children from using your credit card is the initial step to keeping online shopping safe.
Various kid-friendly debit cards work like regular debit cards. Greenlight kids' debit cards, Jassby virtual debit cards, GoHenry, etc., are the best debit cards for children.
In some families, children are allowed to use the family credit card. It doesn't matter if kids use their parent's credit cards unless they're misusing them to buy unnecessary products. You should be updated that your child has access to your credit card so that you won't be surprised later.
Discuss where and when to do online shopping
Allow your kids to shop online at home or when their device is connected to a secure private network. Connecting to public wifi services at schools, airports, restaurants, etc., have a higher chance of getting hacked.
Make sure the site is secured.
Before your child starts to browse shopping sites, make sure the site is secured. Most reputable companies invest in secure technology for their websites, which is vital in the world of online commerce. You can check for an S (which means the website is secure) in the "https" part of the site address. This will help you to keep your personal information safe.
Block websites you don't want to visit.
There is no age restriction on websites when someone enters credit card details. Your child may be able to buy anything. It is scary to think that if your child buys illegal products.
The internet is a big world, and everything is available on the internet. You would not want your child to buy porn, alcohol, drugs, inappropriate videos, movies, music, and many other products. To avoid your kid from visiting these websites, you should block inappropriate websites.
There are online predators who sexually and violently exploit children and teenagers, so you must let your children use verified websites only. According to enough.org, 20.54% of teenagers and 9.95% of tweens who used the internet reported encountering predatory behavior.
The internet is full of people trying to take advantage of others, and it is a sad truth to tell. You can not trust everyone on the internet. Scammers sell duplicate products at the original price, and you will know only when the product gets delivered. You should advise your child to buy the product from reputed and authorized websites.
Unreliable websites include:
- Poor design
- Spelling and grammar errors
- Broken links
- Not secure (no https or lock icon)
- No reviews
Never give your bank details, passwords, and PIN numbers via email or phone. Remember to log out of your credit card details after every transaction from a website.
Threats of Online Shopping
Yes, it is easy to buy and order products online. You don't have to go anywhere physically to buy the things you need. But there are risks of online shopping.
Risks of online shopping for kids
There are various online risks that your child might face while buying products online. If you are not careful your child might face the following problems.
- Your child can get exposed to fraud and scams.
- They might get access to inappropriate content like violent content, vulgar language, porn, etc.
- Cyber bullying, identity theft, data breaches are the potential dangers that your kid might face online.
- Your child might accidentally click adware, download malwares that infects your pc or mobile devices.
- Your child might buy various unnecessary expensive products, so parental supervision is important.
Now we can discuss in detail about the threats that your child can face while buying things online.
Cybercriminals generally do identity theft by breaking into e-commerce websites and obtaining users' login and credit card information. It gives them the option of using user identities to make unauthorized transactions or selling personal information to other online criminals. Your child can be the victim of identity theft if someone uses your child’s social security number to commit fraud. They might open a bank account using the kid's personal information and apply for loans, opening a credit card account and many more.
Fake online stores
Not all e-commerce websites are real. Scammers build websites that look like authentic and established retailers. In order to cheat unsuspecting users into believing they are visiting a reliable website, they steal logos, copy layouts, and designs.
There may be some fake online stores that offer popular products at a low price, but will not deliver the product. Your kid may get scammed by buying products from these fake stores.
There are various websites that don't encrypt the data. If they do not have an SSL certificate, their data is vulnerable to attacks. URLs that begin with HTTP rather than HTTPS have a higher risk of data and information leaks.
If your kid visits insecure websites without an SSL certificate, your information is at risk. Make sure you only let your child visit safe websites.
Your sensitive data and information are shared with the seller when you shop online. If hackers access an e-commerce website without authorization, your data could be made public. This includes your credit card details, contact information, and address.
Data breaches are a fact of life, and children need to be educated about them. If you do not teach your child how to store your personal information and credit card details, he/she might become a victim of a data breach and someone might gain access to your data in order to steal your money and identity.
Many people read reviews before buying products online. All the reviews posted on the product are not real. It is their strategy to lure customers. The reviews might not be written by customers but by marketers. If the retailer has a pattern of good reviews, research the website, and you can go with your instinct.
Inform your kids about the fake reviews on the product and tell them to research properly. Your kid might fall into the trap of fake reviews and buy products that are not genuine and regret later.
Adware is the unexpected ads that pop-ups on your screen while browsing the internet. It is advertising software used to generate income and profits for its owner. Adware can be genuine, but cybercriminals use this for scamming and fraud.
This adware lures you to malicious websites and gains your personal information. These types of adware also infect your device. Your kid might click on the random adwares that leads to different links and infects your device. Teach your kids to not click on the random adwares that pop-ups on the screen.
Scammers send false emails attempting to be from genuine retailers. The emails usually include an attachment or a link intended to fool the recipient into clicking it, which usually results in a malware infection. You should teach your kids how to be safe online from these emails and links.
Parental guidelines for protecting your child online
Your child might get exposed to different online threats and online predators while shopping online. It is your responsibility to protect your child from various online threats. We provide you with the best parental controls guidelines to keep your child safe.
Talk openly with your child about their online activities
As soon as your child is browsing the internet to buy products online, talk to them about what they are wanting to buy, who they are communicating with and from which store they are ordering the product. They might go to the sites which lead to inappropriate content.
Ask your child which sites they are using, make a list of websites and order the product together. It will help you to protect your child from fraud and scammers and is the first step to online safety.
Teach them to use strong passwords
There are strong protection methods like biometrics, two-factor authentication, etc. Many apps, sites and services go with the old method of 8-15 character password. Many people and especially kids use easy passwords like 123456789, qwerty1234, password, iloveyou123.
These passwords are easy to crack. Suggest them to use strong passwords by using characters "!@#$%&*" uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers.
Protect them from phishing
It is one of the most common online threats faced by kids during browsing the internet. Your child might fall into this trap set by online scammers. Guide your kids not to click the unknown links and attachment to save them from online scams. The unknown links on social media platforms might infect your device and have access to your personal information. Tell them to use antivirus software to protect the device from malware.
Use parental control software
You won't be able to be with your child every time to guide them and make smart choices. Thankfully we have Fenced.ai which is a parenting control software that helps you to keep your kids safe online.
Once installed in your kids device, Fenced.ai helps you to monitor your kids online activities including text messages, audio, videos, online gaming, check their screen time online, block inappropriate content, and many more.
Fenced.ai helps you to keep your child safe from online shopping by following activities.
- Monitor which stores they are visiting
- Check if they're using a secure internet.
- Check what kind of product they are buying.
- Monitor their social networking sites.
- Guide them to check website addresses and visit secure websites.
- Helps you to know how much they are spending.
- Fenced.ai Keeps your children off from strangers online by monitoring them and blocking their access to contact your child.
Teach them to fact check
Your kid may fall into the trap by buying a product that has fake reviews. They might be tempted to buy the product by watching the post online on social media. There are various fake profiles made by the marketers and post fake reviews to sell their products. Teach them to buy the product from trusted sources only.
We hope this article helps you guide your children safely to online shopping. You should guide and advise your kid about the advantages and risks of online shopping.
There should be parental control over the children while shopping online to keep your kid from different online threats.
You should always warn your kids about online threats and teach them about internet safety.
Fenced.ai helps you to keep your child away from such threats. It is an excellent choice when it comes to parental control software to keep your kids safe.
What is online safety for kids?
Keeping your children safe while using the internet from different online threats is known as online safety. You can keep your kids safe online from cyber bullying, exposing private data and information, scams, frauds, etc.
How can we make children safe online?
Make sure that your kids have regular internet access and that you check their profiles and postings on a regular basis. Make mobile, PC, tablets visible in the home and set time limits for them. Check out apps and social media sites before downloading and using them with children.
What are the risks of children on social media?
Sexual abuse, fraud, phishing, scams, and cyberbullying are all potential threats to children through social networking. Fortunately, recognizing the top social media safety risks makes it simple to keep our children safe from these threats.
How can we protect children from online threats?
To keep an eye on their Internet use, keep children's computers in the family room. Please monitor your children's browser history. Check that you have a secure parental control software tool. A Web browser can also be used to activate privacy features.
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