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Parents cautioned about teens being targeted as money mules and facing potential jail time

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Cyber scams have been on the rise in Scotland, with nearly 15,000 crimes reported in the past year alone. This alarming statistic represents a significant increase from the previous year, highlighting the growing threat of cybercrime in today’s digital age. The impact of these scams can affect individuals of all ages, making it crucial for people to be vigilant and informed about the risks they face online.

To address this pressing issue, digital experts in Scotland are gearing up to launch CyberScotland week, which kicks off tomorrow. This week-long event aims to educate and empower Scots with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from cyber threats effectively. Jude McCorry, CEO of the Cyber and Fraud Centre, emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity for everyone, from personal to professional settings. She underscores the need for individuals to take proactive steps to safeguard their online activities and be aware of common scams and how to report them.

For parents, McCorry recommends instilling a sense of responsibility in children when using digital devices. Parents should implement parental controls, such as age restrictions on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Additionally, parents should educate their children about online safety, including the risks of interacting with strangers and being mindful of online bullying. By maintaining open communication with their kids, parents can help protect them from falling victim to cyber scams.

Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to cybercriminals targeting them as money mules. These criminals entice young people with promises of easy money in exchange for their bank account details. McCorry warns that participating in these schemes can result in serious legal consequences, including criminal charges and jail time. Parents should be vigilant and monitor their children’s finances to ensure they are not unwittingly involved in illicit activities.

As students transition into adulthood, they must become more proactive in protecting their digital information. Setting strong, unique passwords and being cautious about sharing personal information are essential steps to safeguard their online accounts. Additionally, students should be wary of allowing others access to their devices, as this can lead to unauthorized activity on their behalf. By practicing good cyber hygiene, students can mitigate the risk of falling victim to cyber scams.

Businesses are also prime targets for cybercriminals, who can cause significant damage in a short amount of time. McCorry emphasizes the importance of maintaining robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information. This includes using strong passwords, updating software regularly, and providing cybersecurity training to employees. By adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity, businesses can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyber attacks.

Older individuals, such as pensioners, are increasingly targeted by cyber scams, particularly those related to online banking and investment schemes. McCorry advises older people to prioritize password protection and install antivirus software on their devices. Additionally, she stresses the importance of educating elderly individuals about common scams and encouraging open dialogue with family members to prevent financial exploitation.

In conclusion, cyber scams pose a significant threat to individuals of all ages in Scotland. By staying informed, practicing good cybersecurity habits, and maintaining open communication with loved ones, Scots can better protect themselves from falling victim to online fraud. CyberScotland week serves as a valuable opportunity for people to learn more about cybersecurity and take steps to safeguard their digital well-being.

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