Yes, yes I know: Valentine’s Day comes only once a year and the teens are eagerly looking forward to it. Given the rising popularity of celebrating this day over the years, the bar for this International Day of Love has been raised rather high. Youngsters are looking forward to a day of cards, chocolates, gifts and even-who knows! – expensive dinners. Indulgent and liberal parents lift curfew for this night and allow the kids to have the time of their life. But believe it or not, this Day of Love can have serious consequences on a child’s virtual life.
It’s great to enjoy and celebrate love; but the young tend to be a tad rash and often “Act First & Think Later”. Safety is hence the last thing on their minds as they make the most of this night. At the same time, Gen X is more knowledgeable & aware than we were. Further, a child grounded in values and good behaviour will rarely do anything that he/she might regret later on. So a few pointers that every parent should share with their kids before seeing them off usually suffice to keep them safe, now and later.
It’s the later part I am concerned about, for as we all know, relationships may change. Today, two people can be as close as peas in a pod and share secrets, exchange intimate messages and snap twosome pictures. But the very same words spoken, status posted or pics clicked in the passion of the moment might become cause for embarrassment and bitterness at a later date. Teenage is a period of volatile emotions and any break-up followed by embarrassing revelations online can have deep psychological effects. If you check the McAfee survey report I recently shared, you will find out that exes do have the tendency to malign their partners online out of spite or revenge. As a parent, I am sure you do not want to see your child undergoing that torture.
As we are discussing Valentine’s Day, let’s also take a look at some prominent Valentine scams that you need to safeguard your family members against:
Look alike websites –
There are websites created by cyber criminals that send out malware messages to people on the dating websites. The message will appear as if another member has sent it, but it will be from another website that looks like the one the person is a member on. Sometimes, a website might send an email asking the person to ‘click here’ if they want to view photographs of those who have expressed interest. On the click, it will take the person to another site or it could be a pathway to virus download to the system.
eCards and gifts –
If you receive an email that says “here is a surprise gift for you” or “from someone you love”, be wary before clicking on them. It could just be a scam that will prompt malware download. Without your knowledge, you might have welcomed trouble into your system.
To read tips on how to protect yourself online this Valentine’s Day, click here . Also, the key is to protect your data and device. This can be easily accomplished with McAfee Total Protection. McAfee Total Protection that helps to ‘protect your social network’, ‘defend you against hackers and thieves’. It guards your Identity and the loss, theft, or hacking of your PC or laptop does not expose your confidential files.
Come to think of it, this makes a great Valentine’s Day gift too! It will show the receiver you truly care.
So go ahead and have the time of your life. Celebrate youth, confident in the knowledge that you are well-secured.
Happy Valentine’s Day World!