Online Financial Security for Teens

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There’s a lot of information out there regarding online safety for kids. However, these sources rarely touch on financial security. While your teen’s digital footprint may be small during this time in their lives, they’ll still face a lot of the threats and challenges that adults do. Making sure they know of the potential dangers and what precautions to take will help safeguard your child’s financial future online.

Here are a few of our best tips for keeping your children financially safe and secure online.

Set Virtual Guardrails

Much like the boundaries that keep us safe in our lanes on the road, setting guardrails to how your teen accesses and uses the internet can help keep them safe on the right path and help prevent the potential danger of fraud or scams coming in. Even if you choose to use a parental control app to help apply these guardrails, it’s important to have a conversation with your child about what the ground rules are and how they help protect them.

Take Advantage of Available Technology

When it comes to their finances in particular, resources like the Call Federal’s Card Controls app are great for helping you and your child when it comes to managing their debit card. Using Card Controls to set alerts and other card usage limitations offers parents a measure of comfort regarding the safety of their youth’s account, while also allowing teens to gain confidence as they learn to manage their accounts.

Keep Up With The Latest Scams… and Share Them with Your Teen

Be open with your teen about the common ways in which scammers and fraudsters often try and target their victims. Instilling the importance of not giving out account numbers, online banking passwords, or their debit card information to those online or over the phone is a foundational lesson to financial wellness they will have now and take into their adult years.

Treating Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Services Like Cash

While your teen may not be officially old enough to use services such as Zelle or Venmo, these popular peer-to-peer “cash apps” are growing in popularity among younger generations. While sending money to friends and family is convenient, teens must understand how these app services work and the risks involved, most notably that these “virtual funds” should be treated like cash, as they lack the additional security offered by a traditional financial institution. Check out our previous Parents’ Guide on teens and cash app services.

Online Security Reminders for the Whole Family

While we feel it is important for us to focus on financial aspects of digital security, there’s no escaping the fact that taking necessary precautions in all of our online interactions will ultimately help keep our finances safe as we navigate the internet and beyond. Here are a few more recommendations that the whole family can use.

Password Management

Giving your teens responsibility online should come with a reminder of password management. Let your child know the importance of never sharing their passwords with anyone other than their parents, and changing up their passwords at least once every couple of months.

Keep Devices Updated

Taking the time to ensure that all family devices are current with their software and antivirus updates is crucial in keeping your trusted electronics safe and secure. We recommend putting a recurring “appointment” in whatever calendar or scheduling software you use.

Using Only Trusted Websites

More common than not, our kids are not as mindful as us adults of the websites they are visiting. Be sure to remind them of the importance of using only trusted websites especially when entering their information and making purchases online.

Teaching your teens’ foundational steps in keeping themselves safe online can be a skill they can use and value well into their adult years. For more tips on digital safety, visit our latest Financial Insights on keeping personal information safe.

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