TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While you’re enjoying your summer, experts warn, crooks are scheming to steal your money.
They’re using new twists on old scams, and they’re targeting your children, too, according to Chris Hadnagy, a cybersecurity expert with Social Engineer, LLC.
“I don’t know any child even really young that don’t have a cell phone, that aren’t connected to the internet 24/7,” Hadnagy said. “They’re being targeted by people who exploit children, to get photos of them, to get them in private chats.”
He warns that parents need to pay attention to what their kids are doing online.
“It’s very important right now for parents to be involved in their children’s lives, to talk to them about this, to maybe monitor their devices, depending on how old they are, and to have open conversations with them that if they get themselves in a sticky situation, it’s not their fault,” Hadnagy said. “They need to come to the parents to get help.
Hadnagy calls himself an ethical hacker and works with companies to determine their vulnerabilities. He says he’s surprised at what employees fall for, despite the warnings.
“We talk about this so much that there’s almost an expectation of, ‘everybody knows what phishing is right? Everybody knows that you can’t trust all these phone numbers,” he said.
He says we all need to make smarter choices online. For example, crooks use data breaches to target you, but don’t make it easy by using the same passwords on multiple sites.
“Now, the hackers say…here’s a password that may be reused. They try it on your Zelle account, log in, and they can transfer all the money you have linked right to another account,” Hadnagy said.