Youngster’s online game addiction costs parent dear

The mother of a Standard 9 student recently petitioned the Ernakulam Rural Police about a fraud that usurped ₹3 lakh from her bank account.

But the probe did not lead to any fraudster but to her own son who, while accessing the smartphone for online classes, got hooked on an online game, and the addiction cost his mother dear.

“The money was spent over a mobile wallet in over 225 transactions of ₹40 to ₹4,000 over the game in just over a month. There were days when even 10 payments were made in a single day to keep on playing the game,” said police sources. It is suspected that the woman’s mobile wallet was linked to the mobile number, and the password was known to her son.

Rahul Sasi, an international cyber security expert, said parents should keep their credit cards and passwords of mobile wallets safe from the reach of children.

“The credit card number and the three-digit CVV number are enough for transactions in many international sites that do not need OTP. One of the best practices is to memorise the CVV number and erase it,” he said.

“In wake of the incident, we are planning an awareness campaign on cyber security. Parents should be more careful about the use of smart gadgets by children,” said District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural) K. Karthik.

Parents have also been advised to frequently vet gadgets to verify usage by children and to be cautious about setting and sharing user IDs and passwords. Smartphones should be frequently checked for banned apps and games.

“Tech-savvy youngsters have been found using some popular games, which remain banned in the country,” police sources said.

They asked parents to create separate email IDs with parental control for online sessions. They should be alert against late-night and excessive usage of smart gadgets by children. Care should be taken to ensure that smartphones used by students are not linked to parents’ bank accounts.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 9:47:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/youngsters-online-game-addiction-costs-parent-dear/article34861065.ece

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