CPP, the online identity protection company have warned parents that they might be at risk of identity fraud due to their children secretly using their credit cards for online purchases, subscriptions and games.
Regulated by the Financial Services Authority, CPP carried out an extensive survey which shockingly revealed that around 23 per cent of children have secretly used their parents credit card online.
In addition, they found that a massive 77 per cent of children in the UK use the internet completely unsupervised.
This can put the parent at huge risk, as younger people are often not aware or are at least less aware of the risks of identity fraud.
According to the research, children are much more likely to post credit card details recklessly and take much less persuasion to part with vital personal information.
If they are using their parents credit cards this can mean that the sensitive personal ID authentication details of their parents are left vulnerable to phishing and identity fraud attacks.
CPP and the Financial Services Authority urge parents to keep a close eye on their childs internet use and when they give permission for their children to use their credit card online to ensure that It is being used on a trustworthy site.
Michael Lynch, CPP fraud expert commented: “They are putting up credit card details and home address details on the internet which can be used by fraudsters, whether it’s through phishing attacks to either sell the data or commit fraud using their credit card details.”
In order to combat growing online fraud, parents must familiarise themselves with safe internet use and ensure that their children are not revealing their personal details to anyone unnecessarily online.
While it is clear that it is not possible to watch children 24/7, it is possible to keep a close eye on your credit card and only allow it to be used on reputable sites.
That is not to say that online purchasing should be ruled out, as it is often cheaper, more convenient and offers more choice than the high street, it is simply wise to do your research before making or allowing others to make an a online purchase.
Experts advise that if a website is secure and it is safe to enter your credit card details, the web address should start with https:// instead of http://. The S indicates that the site is secure and your details will be safe.
Citi Group has this advice for safe online credit card use:
1. Check for your browser’s symbol, such as a padlock or key, indicating you’re on a secure site
2. Look for privacy statements on each merchant website to learn what information is being collected and how it will be used
3. Review Citigroup’s Information on Privacy as an excellent example
4. Get referrals from your friends on their favorite shopping websites
5. Check with your state/local consumer agencies or the Better Business Bureau before buying if you don’t know the merchant
6. Look for customer feedback on the merchant’s website
7. Use secure sites that encrypt, or scramble, all information until the receiver unscrambles it. For example, we use 128-bit encryption for security purposes