The are widespread reports that the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a surge in online scams, phishing and attempts to get hold of users' financial and personal information. Meanwhile, young people have been especially at risk of harm online because of their increased use of the internet since March 2020 - children are online more of the time, using the internet for new and different things to before, including attending school and completing classwork, keeping in touch with family, entertainment and play.
As they use new apps, games and services for the first time, children need to build their knowledge and understanding about how their data is used, how financial models like in-app purchases work, and how to spot fake content or fake requests for information, so that they can help protect their and their families' data and financial details safe online.
In the last few months Childnet's website has experience a three-fold increase in demand for our advice and guidance on key online safety issues affecting children, such as social media, wellbeing online, and cyberbullying. We know children need to be able to find answers to the online safety questions they have, in an accessible way that meets their needs, and this funding will enable Childnet to create new content on phishing and scams based on the questions children we work with ask us, helping them to improve their knowledge and understanding so that they can avoid online scams and phishing requests.