Hackers Using Kids to Get to Parents' Financial Information

Experts say your children could make you vulnerable when it comes to the security of your financial information.

In an age of heightened online security awareness, parents have a right to be worried about their data.

But their children may be making them vulnerable online, experts say. 

“I think many times in families, the weak link is their children,” said Kristen Amicone, Director of Education and Technology for the San Diego Police Foundation. 

Most children are not thinking about their parents' savings accounts, mutual funds and investments, Amicone said. When hackers are looking to breach your online security, they may try to use your kids. 

“Unfortunately kids aren’t as discriminating about where they share information, where they get it from and who they’re giving it to,” Amicone said. “If a child is using a computer for instance, and they download a virus, the parent might have no idea until their data is stolen.” 

Some parents may assume their kids already know all about online security, Amicone said.

Oftentimes, knowing how to work on a computer and what to click can differ, she added. 

“Children are native but still naive,” Amicone said. 

Amicone said it is important to use different usernames and passwords for children and parents. Parents also need to keep important financial information in places their kids cannot access. 

“They need to be taught what a spam email looks like, what a spam text message looks like and they also need to be taught to go to the source of whatever scary thing came to you,” Amicone said.

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