New study shows children at higher risk of cyber threats during COVID-19 pandemic

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Children and cybercrime in the age of COVID-19: Arkose Labs survey reveals new findings

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Kids have been stuck inside and spending more time on phones and computers. A study finds there’s now a greater risk of cybercrime targeting kids. 8 News NOW’s Hector Mejia has more from researchers and how to keep your kids and your information safe.

A warning for parents.

“About 10-percent of kids actually knew that their accounts had been broken into. So people that actually attacked their credentials, got into their accounts, and started doing things they shouldnt’s be doing,” Kevin Gosschalk, CEO of Arkose Labs.

Kevin Gosschalk, CEO of Arkose Labs has a tech company that focuses on fraud prevention. They recently commissioned a new study about children’s online habits.

Going to store websites and start looking at things. Chatting with my friends whenever I’m bored.

The coronavirus pandemic obviously has a massive uplift in online usage. The big companies that are succeeding right now are all very kid-friendly, so it’s things like video game companies, streaming service,” added Kevin Gosschalk, CEO of Arkose Labs.

Highlights from the study include:

  • Personal data: Many children know that sharing personal information on the internet, especially related to payment (94%) and social security numbers (93%), can be dangerous. 44% of the children polled affirmed that they were careful when sharing any information online.However, sharing login credentials among friends for something like streaming services is still commonplace.
  • Hacking: 7% admitted to getting hacked, 81% said they were not hacked, while 12% were not sure.
  • Online fraud: When asked specifically about the definition of online fraud, children were clear that it involved stealing personal details for impersonation and financial scams. They know that cyber criminals try to steal passwords or trick them into paying money.
  •  Identity theft: Children are generally aware of what identity theft means. They explained it as cyber criminals stealing user information and pretending to be someone else in order to get money.

To complement the study, Arkose Labs talked to some of the children on Zoom to hear more of their thoughts. The summary video can be seen here.

With more people online, he says the value for criminals to obtain your financial information has gone up.

“That means that they’re willing to invest in attacking people online, so not only are kids using online more but the attack surface has gone up dramatically,” added Gosschalk.

Children are vulnerable, so how should parents protect their families?

  • Look for parental controls
  • Talk about cybercrime
  • Come up with a solid password with a couple of words
  • Don’t sharing accounts with others online

“This is something that does open them up for fraud schemes because all the attackers need to do in these scenarios is convince them they’re their friend,” added Gosschalk.

Gosschalk says it also comes down to the companies designing online platforms.

“We definitely recommend looking into more controls and features that parents can monitor usage, track transactions, and also help kids keep themselves safe,” said Gosschalk.

To learn more about Arkose Labs and its Fraud and Abuse Defense Platform, visit

To get your copy of the eBook, Creating the Next Generation of Fraud Defenders,visit link.

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