As cyberattacks on young gamers increase, expert advice to keep your child safe

Gamers are often asked to turn off antivirus software while downloading a suspicious file
Published: Jun. 12, 2023 at 2:20 PM CDT
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(InvestigateTV) — Cyber criminals launched more than 7 million attacks on children by exploiting popular gaming titles in 2022, according to cyber security company Kaspersky. The company saw an increase in phishing pages that mimic popular games like RobloxMinecraft, Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Experts say scammers create these fake gaming sites to entice kids to click on links, with the end goal of installing malware on parents’ devices.

Kurt Baumgartner is a principal security researcher with Kaspersky’s Global and Research Analysis Team. He said to remind your children over and over not to give out any personal information, like their name or location, on game chats.

“One rule parent’s can help lay down is tell their kids, you know, if there’s a chat going on, you’re not to click on links that strangers or other players are sending you. So, stay away from those,” Kaspersky said.

Baumgartner mentioned it’s not just gaming sites. Cyber criminals are latching on to whatever is popular.

“Whether it’s a new album by Taylor Swift or a new movie that’s coming out that’s hugely popular, they’re going to try to latch onto that popularity and try to get their software installed on different and different systems,” he explained.

Kaspersky has an online safety guide for children that includes tips such as:

  • Consider using a parental control app for online access
  • Communicate often with children about online safety
  • Only allow online activities in a family or common room so it is easier to keep an eye on online activities
  • Ensure you are using a good and updated antivirus software
  • Create family ground rules for online activities

To report suspicious activities or cybercrime, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).