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    • Facebook scams: how can I protect myself?

      As we dive deeper into the digital age, social media has become exceedingly prevalent in our society. With more and more people joining social sites like Facebook, fraudsters have seen this as an opportunity to create scams very specific to each platform. Let's take a look into the different scams that are used on Facebook, and shine a light on effective ways consumers can protect their identities and information. 1. The Facebook "Challenge" Scam There has recently been a trend on Facebook that encourages users to divulge personal information. One of these challenges looks like this "My mother was a ___, my father was a ___." where you attended school, and where you were born. The answers to these questions are often used as answers to password security questions. Sharing any of this information can lead to identity theft, so think before you post. 2. The "See Who's Viewed Your Profile" Scam This scam tries to steer you toward a clickable link that does not contain data showing who has viewed your Facebook profile. Instead, you may be sent to a survey, gift card offer, or a page that asks you to submit personal information in order to "view this list." Always be aware that Facebook will not send you a list of who has been viewing your profile, as it would be breaching their personal security clause. If you receive a link like this, delete the message immediately after reporting the account who sent it as a spam account. 3. The "See Who's Blocked You" Scam This scam is the same as the one above. Facebook would never divulge any information pertaining to who has blocked you or muted you, so bypass these links completely or you run the risk of having malware installed onto your device. 4. The Facebook "Video" Scam Have you ever gotten a message from a friend saying "I can't believe what you're doing in this video!" with a link attached or something along those lines? Has one of your "friends" threatened to release a video of you? This is a common scam on Facebook that plays on ego. There is no video when you click the link, but a data thief who will take the information you provide and build a step-by-step targeted attack against your personal data. Never click on these links, even if it appears to come from someone on your friend list. 5. The Facebook "Testing" Scam If you are ever asked by "Facebook" or a "friend" to test a new Facebook feature, this is a scam. The most recent "testing" scam sends a message to unassuming users telling them they have been selected to test out the new Facebook "dislike" button, and provides a link to enable this feature. Do not click the link, as it will install malware onto your device and steal personal information. Facebook pays plenty of people to test their new software, and if they are wanting to test a new feature, they will release it to certain parts of the world -- not random people. For example, the "dislike" button is currently only being tested in New Zealand and Australia. 6. The "Fake News" Facebook Scam For this scam, oftentimes a link will be sent around containing information about a major event, like a horrible plane crash or a celebrity death, along with a provocative image. You will click on the "news link," which actually will trigger a malware installation. When you click this link, it will also be shared to your Facebook for other people to click on (this perpetuates the scam and keeps it alive). NEVER click on these links -- instead, Google the information first to see if it is real (if the article title says "(Insert celeb name here) dead at the age of 39!" ALWAYS fact check it before you click on an unreliable link -- or copy the link and test it in the "link checker" section of this website!) 7. The "Your Facebook Account Will Be Deleted" Scam This scam sends you an email pretending to be from "Facebook," warning that your account is about to be canceled (in some instances, the message may ask you to confirm your Facebook account). The scammer requests that you send your Facebook username and password back in response in order to verify your identity, or it will have you click on an external link. This is a phishing scam and is designed to steal your personal information. If Facebook wants to contact you, they will send you a direct message on the app itself, not an email. (Side note: Facebook would never delete your account if you don't seem to use it often or for any reason other than you have been reported too many times -- if this is the case, Facebook will send you a message on the app alerting you that this action is going to take place. Facebook will NEVER make you "copy and paste" a message to show them you are still active and to not delete your account. If you see this post being re-posted by many of your friends, it is best to simply move on. Your Facebook profile will not be deleted.) 8. The "Malicious Tagging" Scam This scam all starts when you are tagged in a post with several other of your friends. Because you are tagged in a post with your friends, you assume the link is safe to click on -- in many cases, it may even appear that a friend of yours has shared this post. This is often a link to an "adult" video -- when you click on it, a pop-up window appears that prompts you to download the latest version of Flash before watching the video, which is really malware. Once you click this link, the post is shared to your Facebook profile. Some steps to avoid this scam: don't click links that contain descriptions such as, "exclusive," "shocking," or "sensational" footage; don't click on links that are shortened -- if you cant tell the exact website you're going to, it is probably a scam; don't always trust what your friends post because their account could have been compromised; report any and all scams you see so that you are able to stop the rapid spread of this malicious tagging scam. Together, we can work to mitigate these scams and make social media a safer place for all people. Remember: think before you click!

    • How to Avoid COVID-19 Scams and Misinformation

      Phishing scams often prey on a victim's fear by using real and current threats to obtain personal information like passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, and more. Other times, they see opportunity in capitalizing on stories that are highly prevalent in the news. So what happens when you have both scenarios with COVID-19? Yep, you guessed it -- COVID-19 malware is a thing now. What is COVID-19 malware? Basically, scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic to "offer" information or services to the public. The above image is an example of one of many coronavirus-related scams. Industry targeted emails There have been several scams going around targeting manufacturing, transportation, higher education, and healthcare industries that promote COVID-19 cures and topical conspiracies. Once the email attachment is opened, malware is able to harvest the victim's data. World Health Organization emails At the beginning of the outbreak, a "spoofing campaign" was launched to target people in areas that were going into shutdown. These emails coincided with the government increasing quarantine measures and therefore capitalized on the fear of those receiving the emails. This campaign contained a "list of precautions" to take to stop the spread of the virus. When the victim opened the document, their device was immediately compromised. Emails sent to remote workers With everyone working from home, hackers are sending emails to remote workers claiming to be from the company HR departments (for most companies, their employees' information is available online -- anyone can access it). This scam asks for the user to sign into DocuSign or Microsoft Word. These scammers typically imitate someone who actually works in the HR department. Once the link is clicked, malware is installed on the victim's device. Coronavirus reactive maps Several organizations have created reactive maps that allow viewers to track where the virus has spread. This scam shows the actual reactive map, but contains malware that steals info stored in your browser (passwords, credit card info, etc.) How can you avoid these scams? While these emails may look like they come from a legitimate source, it is best to proceed with caution before clicking on anything. Don't click on links from unknown senders. If you haven't subscribed to receive emails from a certain sender (such as the World Health Organization) and all of a sudden, they send you an email, it's probably a scam. Does the email address match the sender's name (if the sender's name is "Don" and the email address is, this should be a red flag)? Are there typos in the email? Is the layout slightly off and the sentences structured strangely? If you notice these things, do not click on any links or documents that the email may contain. If they send you a link to a website, run it through a URL checker (see "URL Checker" tab under "Resources") to make sure it's legitimate. Educate yourself. Stay up-to-date on current scams so that if you do encounter one, you will know right away. Think about how it has been shared. Social media and email accounts can be easily hacked and information can be distributed by a hacker with malicious intent. Always be wary of clicking any link, no matter who it's from. Help stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation While Google, Facebook, and Twitter are working diligently to help stop the spread of "fake news," it is ultimately up to us. Always fact check information before you post it. If it seems extreme, it probably isn't factual. If you see someone else spreading misinformation, send them a direct message to let them know that the information they posted is false.

    • The Be KYNd Project... what is it?

      The Be KYNd Project has a simple goal: spread kindness online and offline. One in three young people have experienced cyberbullying in some capacity over the course of their lifetime, and many don't report the threats they receive. Studies have shown that students who are victims of online bullying are two times more likely to commit suicide. This research also suggests that suicide ideation and attempts have doubled since 2008. It's time to put an end to online bullying -- it's time to be KYNd. How can you play a role in the Be KYNd Project? It's easy. If you notice negative behavior toward someone online, stand up for them. Leave a kind comment on someone's social media post. Send someone a hand-written letter when they aren't expecting it. If you are out volunteering in your community, document it, post it online, and tag #beKYNd and #beKYNdproject so we can feature you on our website! ​ You can also help put an end to cyberbullying by purchasing custom #beKYNd merch. The proceeds from each sale will go to the Cybersmile Foundation. You can read more about them here. Remember: in a world where you can be anything, #beKYNd.

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    • Kids | Know Your Net

      Staying Safe Online Kids Corner It is exciting and fun to connect with family and friends online, but it can also come with some risks. Discover what these risks are and what YOU can do to stay safe online. If you are 8-15 years old, this section is for you. What are the risks? Here is what you need to look out for: – your personal information is available to be seen by anyone, anywhere. Not only can it be seen by friends and family... it can also be seen by strangers. Privacy – everything you post will remain online for a very long time, even if your comments or photos are deleted. Permanency –there are strangers who will reach out to you online and try to become close to you. Do not talk to these people. Grooming – this relates to your personal privacy. It is possible for people to gather enough information about you to steal your identity. They can use your identity to do illegal things like steal your money or commit crimes under your name. It can also be used to create fake profiles to ruin your reputation or bully others. Identity Fraud – this is when a person uses social websites to cause conflict in the lives of individuals or groups. Trolling – this is when a person pretends to be someone they're not by creating a fake profile. They can sometimes use this profile to trick people over a long period of time. This is why it is best to not talk to strangers online. Catfishing How can I protect my personal information? It is important to never share your: Address or location Sporting clubs or groups that you're in Phone number Passwords School or work Bank details Tips to help you stay safe online There are several simple things you can do to try to stay safe online: – only accept friend or follow requests from people you know in real life. This reduces the chance of you getting into an unsafe situation. Monitor your requests closely – blocking someone prevents them from contacting you and viewing your profile. Block anyone that makes you feel uneasy or upset – when you are posting online, make sure it is showing you in a positive light. Once it's uploaded, it can be viewed by anyone. THINK before you upload a photo or a post – the tone of what you are saying is lost when you type something. Be careful before writing to others because they may interpret it in a way you did not intend. THINK before you write to others online – links you post could contain misleading, incorrect, or hurtful information. THINK before sharing links to other websites – if you've only met someone online and never in person, never meet them alone. If you want to meet them, bring a parent or friend and meet in a public place. If they are who they say they are, this will be completely fine with them. If you meet someone online, keep your friendship there – in general, it is best to avoid sharing personal information online. This info can be misused by someone in real life to cause harm to you or your family. Have your parents help you check your privacy settings to make sure your account is secure and you aren't sharing too much personal information. Think about your privacy and the privacy of your family – when choosing a username, use your nickname or an alias. For your profile picture, make sure it isn't revealing any personal information. Protect your identity Sexting – know the laws in your state. If you receive a message or photo that makes you feel uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult immediately. Click here to view laws pertaining to sexting. How YOU can be a good digital citizen: Use the THINK method before you post or comment. k n i h t Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspirational? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Key takeaway: THINK! Is it true, helpful, inspirational, necessary, and kind? If not, you don't need to post it. Do you know your net? Click "Take Quiz Now" if you think you're ready to test your #NetKnowledge! Take quiz now! Cyberbullying If you are experiencing cyberbullying, you are not alone. Read More > SEXting Chances are, you've probably heard of sexting. It can be a serious issue and can put your privacy/livelihood at risk. Learn more now! Read More > all about respect Respect holds relationships together. Learn ways to be respectful online. Read More > kids rules for online safety Follow these 10 rules to remain safe online. Read More >

    • Habits to Start Young | Know Your Net

      GOOD HABITS START YOUNG Parents and guardians play vital role in helping children develop an understanding of digital citizenship — the social, emotional and practical skills needed to successfully navigate the digital world. My child has shared inappropriate images ​ If your child has shared an intimate image of someone else without their permission, follow the below steps and to see your state's sexting law. click here Did this page help you? Not at all A little Moderately Good help. Great help! Did this page help you? You may also like: Try to get the full story so you can understand what happened. Explain why distributing anyone's private information is wrong. Try to stop the image from being shared any further. Help your child repair any harm. -- as your child gets older, it is useful to keep reminding them of these basic digital intelligence principles: respect, empathy, critical thinking, responsible behavior, and resilience. You can use these principles to empathize with your child when things go wrong in their digital world. It is never too early to teach your children good digital habits ​ On this page: How to teach digital citizenship I am worried my child might be bullying others My child has shared inappropriate images How to teach digital citizenship ​ Promote respectful communication Encourage your child to display the same good manners and behavior online as they would use offline -- help them to understand that others may have different cultures, backgrounds or points of view. If it is not OK to say or do something face to face, it is not OK online. Remind them to avoid responding to negative messages (any message that makes them upset or uncomfortable) and to tell you or another trusted adult if they receive them. Tell them it is OK to report or block others who are not being nice. Remind them that you are proud of them for their good behavior online. For example, ‘I know what a kind and respectful person you are, and it makes me so proud to see you acting the same way when you're online. You are such a great friend — I can see how much everyone looks up to you at school.’ This will encourage them to continue acting this way. Encourage empathy Help your child imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes. This way, they can relate to differing opinions and understand what might make people behave in different ways. For example, you might say something like: ‘I noticed that Caroline seemed a bit sad when she came over yesterday. Have you noticed anything? What do you think is wrong? Would that make you sad? What can we do to help?’ Teach them to question Encourage your child to think critically about what they see online. Teach them to ask questions so they can identify content that may be misleading. Talk to them about ‘fake news’ or false information that is designed to look like a trustworthy news report, and discuss how quickly it can spread on social media. Teach them to fact check news sources and do their own independent searches on issues so they can see the variety of opinions on a particular issue and make up their own mind. Remind them to be careful when making new friends online as people may not be who they say they are. We're seeing an increased amount of ‘Finstas’ (fake Instagram accounts) and other impersonation accounts, so it is always important to question whether what they are seeing online from their friends is real or not. If it seems out of character, it could be from a fake account. Alert your child to the dangers of meeting someone in person that they have been talking to online. Advise them to never meet an online friend unless a trusted adult is with them and it is during the day in a public space. Encourage safe and responsible behavior Work on achieving a healthy balance in your child’s online and offline activities. When you first speak with your child about Internet usage, set boundaries and have rules your child must follow. Find out how in time online. Make your child aware that posting personal information can threaten their "real-world" safety, as well as their family's safety. Explain that they should be suspicious of unsolicited messages and emails, and avoid clicking on pop-up ads on websites. Some pop-ups that seem safe can lead to inappropriate sites or ask for personal/financial information. Help them configure the strongest privacy settings on all the social media apps and sites they use. It is best that only their friends can view their information, tag them in photos or share posts. Have them regularly check their settings as updates can sometimes default them. Ensure your child uses strong passwords on devices and accounts (a passphrase tends to be the strongest), and explain the importance of not sharing passwords, even with friends. Help them build resilience If your child experiences a negative experience online, stay calm. Remember that the choices they make as they navigate difficult situations can help them learn. Remind your child that they don't have to accept every friend request they receive. Make sure they know how to block and report users or pages on the sites they use. If they have a negative online experience, find out how they are feeling about it and offer support. It is normal for them to not want to talk about their experience at first, but make sure they know that you are there for them. For example, you might say: ‘What that person has done is not OK. They must be feeling pretty bad about themselves to treat you like this. How are you feeling? Let's block them to stop their messages coming through.’ Build your child’s confidence and encourage positive ways of thinking — looking on the bright side, thinking rationally through a negative situation, and understanding that difficult times are a part of life but there is help and support available. ​ I am worried my child might be bullying others. If your child is treating others badly, is dismissive of their feelings, or targeting/intentionally excluding a particular child or group, they could be seen as a bully. If they are online, there is a chance they may be bullying that person/group there, as well. Finding out your child is bullying others can be very painful, but with your guidance and positive guidance, you can help them change. Click through the slideshow below for tips on how to handle this situation. Help them relate Talk to your child, in a way they can relate to, about how it feels to be left out or teased. Use examples. Build empathy — help them understwhat it might feel like to be the other person. Read more Online Safety Seven tips to help keep your children safe online Read more Cyberbullying A guide to online bullying for parents and guardians Read more Time Online Help your child achieve a healthy balance in their online and offline activities

    • For kids | Know Your Net

      Test your net knowledge! If you are in grades K-8, this cyber knowledge test is perfect for you! You can take this quiz just to see how much you know already, or you can visit the "KIDS" tab first and test how much you know later! Not quite ready to test your #NetKnowledge? That's okay! Click on "Go Home" to be redirected to the "Kids" homepage. Go home You may also like: Cyberbullying If you are experiencing cyberbullying, you are not alone. Read More > SEXting Chances are, you've probably heard of sexting. It can be a serious issue and can put your privacy/livelihood at risk. Learn more now! Read More > all about respect Respect holds relationships together. Learn ways to be respectful online. Read More > kids rules for online safety Follow these 10 rules to remain safe online. Read More >

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Know Your Net's mission is to create a safer online environment for people of all ages. We are always trying to grow and improve. If you have any suggestions of what should be added to this website, please click "contact" and let us know.

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