The WARNING SIGNS that your child is being affected by cybercrime may not be obvious. Pay close attention to small changes in their behavior.

Ask yourself:

  • Is your child hesitant to share information about online activity?
  • Does your child appear anxious when receiving texts, emails, or instant messages?
  • Does your child have difficulty sleeping at night or are they drowsy during the day?
  • Does your child exit or change screens quickly on their computer or device when you enter the room?
  • Has your child’s mood or behavior changed noticeably, including increased secretiveness, defensiveness, anger or depression?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is important that you investigate the situation further by speaking with your child. If you think that your child has been affected by a cybercrime you should report the incident immediately using the information below, then visit the appropriate incident page for further steps to recover and reinforce your child’s cybersecurity.

Report, Recover, and Reinforce

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911 right away!

No matter what type of cybercrime incident, reporting cybercrime incidents to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is very important! The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Although the FBI does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. The FAQs about reporting can be found here. Please read the FBI/IC3 privacy policy here. (If you believe that you’ve received a phishing email, please forward the email directly to spam@uce.gov and reportphishing@apwg.org.)

Visit our individual incident sections for detailed information and resources on various types of cybercrime that can affect anyone, at any age.

Find Recovery Resources for Specific Incidents Affecting Children, Teens, and Young Adults

Reinforce Your Security for All Ages

  • Create strong passwords. Learn how from ConnectSafely.org.
  • Always enable a two-step/factor verification on you and your child’s accounts– which requires an additional code to log in.
  • Never open an email attachment or click on a link from someone you don’t know.
  • Keep your operating system and software (or apps) up to date. It is not uncommon for companies to discover security flaws and vulnerabilities that they fix with updates.
  • After downloading a new app or updating an existing app, check your privacy and location settings to make sure they are set to your preferred settings.

CHILDREN

Resources for Parents and Children

Fifteen Apps

Reinforce Your Child's Security

By taking a few basic precautions you can help your child defend themselves against cybercrime. Listed below are some simple preventive measures that everyone can implement to be more secure online:

Helpful Videos for Children

Zuky the Robot: Complex Passwords

TEENS

Resources for Teens and Parents

Reinforce Your Teen’s Security

By taking a few basic precautions you can help your teen defend themselves against cybercrime. Listed below are some simple preventive measures that you and your teen can implement to be more secure online:

  • Be cautious of online friends that you don’t know in real life. Even though it feels like you know them, you really don’t know who they are. If somebody you met online sends or requests provocative pictures or asks to meet you in person, tell an adult.
  • Use safe social networking practices. Learn safe social networking tips for teens from ConnectSafely.org.

Parents of Teens:

  • Teach your kids how to use social media in a safe way with resources from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Stay updated on the latest apps, social media platforms, and digital slang used by children and teens.
  • Teach your teens safe online gaming habits with these gaming tips from the Center for Cybersafety and Education.
  • Establish rules with your teen about appropriate online behavior. Learn tips to establish digital rules from StopBullying.gov.
  • Follow your teen on social media to keep an eye out for harmful digital behavior.
  • Know your teens’ usernames and passwords for any online accounts.
  • Educate them about using public WiFi. Public networks are not secure and can expose personal information to cybercriminals. Using a Virtual Private Network offers you a secure, untraceable connection whenever you use public WiFI.

Helpful Videos for Teens

YOUNG ADULTS

Resources for Young Adults

Reinforce Your Security

By taking a few basic precautions you can defend yourself against cybercrime. Listed below are some simple preventive measures that everyone can implement to be more secure online:

  • Don’t share your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary — provide alternative information when possible.
  • Once you have established credit, check your credit reports annually using the www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Consider putting a credit freeze on your credit report. Learn more about credit freezes with Credit Freeze FAQs from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • If you are a college student, take precautionary steps to protect your identity. Follow these tips from the Identity Theft Resource Center.
  • Be careful with what you share online. What you post now could affect future job opportunities.
  • Take the time to research and read reviews before making purchases from ads placed on Social Media platforms.
  • Using public WiFi? Public networks are not secure and can expose personal information to cybercriminals. Using a Virtual Private Network offers you a secure, untraceable connection whenever you use public WiFI.

Helpful Videos for Young Adults