YouTube Scam Targeting Your Kids Inbox Right Now
Scammers are using popular YouTube stars as a way to steal sensitive personal information that you have stored online.
It seems like every kid between 5 and 15 has a favorite YouTube star right now, and religiously subscribes to their channel. The latest scam is using that devotion to give hackers access to your personal information.
This isn't the fault of any kid who watches their favorite celebrities videos. The scam is actually so clever that the kid actually thinks they're being rewarded. According to Business Insider, it start when a user subscribes to a celeb's account.
Then a direct message is sent from the celebrity to the user saying thanks for subscribing, and to click on a certain link for a "Thank you gift." The gift is most likely some type of malware that immediately starts exposing whatever valuable information it can find. Email passwords, bank account info, social security numbers and a ton of other valuable info.
My son and daughter both have YouTube accounts, and subscribe to many of their favorite accounts. It seems impossible to monitor all of the activity that goes on, but setting parental controls is the first step in trying.
The one thing you need to be mindful of is that there are different controls depending on where you are watching YouTube. Toms Guide gives a decent run down here on how to set up controls for both computer viewing and mobile viewing.
The main thing I tell my kids is to be wary of ANY email they were not expecting and to NEVER click on a link in an email. In fact, I tell my mom the same thing as she starts to get more and more tech savvy. Just following that simple rule will significantly decrease your chances of infecting your device.
If you have an impulsive kid that jumps at the chance to win a prize, it might be best to just disable their inbox all together. If you think you are already at risk, you can use the reporting tool that YouTube offers for more help.