Assuming false identities by cybercriminals involves pronounced risks, especially for the little ones who make many friends online, often without knowing the people behind the virtual accounts and their true intentions. And taking into account the fact that the number of children in Romania, aged between 9 and 16, who talk to strangers on the Internet is constantly growing – the percentage reaching 38% according to the EU Kids Online 2020 study – we could not omit this extremely important topic as part of the Cyber4Kids cyber education campaign for children.
For these reasons, we come to the aid of children and parents with a series of useful tips on false online identities, more specifically we talk about a correct conduct in the case of friendship requests and conversations with people in the digital environment, in:
• Video animation "Cyber4Kids. Who is catfishing you online (ep.3)"
• PDF Guide "Cyber4Kids. Lesson 3. Who is catfishing you? False identities"
Important to remember?
• Children need to pay attention to people who ask them for friendship or start chatting with them through online messages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok or in games chats. There may be criminals who lie about who they are and their age.
• Preventive measures – do not accept requests for friendship and do not respond to messages and comments from strangers, do not provide online personal data, pictures, videos and any other information about them or family.
• They can be done together with the little “exercises” for recognizing false accounts that take into account the profile photo, its age and content, the existence of a circle of mutual friends, checking the published or provided information, etc.
• Accounts on social media platforms should be made with an adult and set as private, limiting the public who can send friend requests, direct messages, share or comment, only to the list of friends (or no one).
• In family cyber education discussions, give children concrete examples of dangerous messages they don't need to respond to, such as "Hi, your posts are great, can you give me your phone number to talk on WhatsApp?", "Hey, I am the brother of your classmate / friend (+ name from the friends list). Can you give me your address? I have something to give you from her. " and so on
About Cyber4Kids. certSIGN’s cyber education campaign for children
For 8 weeks, on certSIGN YouTube channel, children and parents are connected together to new adventures in Cyber City – the capital of the Internet – within the Cyber4Kids campaign. A series of animated videos, created especially to please the little ones but also to make adults aware of the unseen dangers of the online environment, will contain tips and rules for accessing sites or online games, downloading applications or how to build high-security passwords, as well as many other interesting things.
The action takes place in Cyber City and the main character is your child, a Super Cyber-Hero, who will collect during the campaign a bunch of "magic objects" to help him grow safely and overcome all obstacles in the virtual world.
The adventures in the city of superheroes can be watched on cyber4kids.ro and on the social channels certSIGN (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter).
The short-movies are accompanied by guides with tips for children and parents and a contest with LEGO prizes starting on September 28, 2020, in the Guerrilla de Dimineață radio show.