Study finds that disadvantaged teens are more likely to fall for email frauds.

Study finds that disadvantaged teens are more likely to fall for email frauds.

Research reveals that disadvantaged kids have a higher propensity to fall for email frauds.

In a global survey, researchers found that 1 in 7 15-year-olds were vulnerable to falling for a phishing email, with that number rising to 1 in 5 for those from economically disadvantaged homes.

According to research covering 38 nations, children from disadvantaged backgrounds who also have lower levels of cognitive ability are the ones most likely to fall for phishing emails.
A researcher from University College London (UCL) has warned that students, especially those from low-income families and with low academic achievement, require better training about the risks they face when engaging in online activities.

More than 176,000 kids participated in the 2018 Programme for worldwide Student Assessment (Pisa), a triennial worldwide survey by the OECD that assesses the literacy, numeracy, and scientific literacy of students throughout the world in their 15th year.

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Students were asked how they would react if they received an email from a phone company informing them that they had won a smartphone. To gain access to the phone, the sender instructed them to go a link and fill out a form with their personal information.

The online world is growing increasingly complex and dangerous, and more has to be done to assist young people in navigating it.

Possible reactions include asking for more information, responding to the email, or filling out the form as soon as possible by clicking the link provided.
Teenagers from low-income families were significantly more likely to report that they would follow the link, according to the study published in the British Journal of Educational Studies.

A quarter of low-achieving students said they thought clicking the link was a suitable answer, compared to 5% of students in the top quintile of reading scores. This disparity was most strongly associated with cognitive ability.
According to the data, Japanese teenagers had the lowest open rates (4%). The percentage in the UK was 9 percent.

Risk was highest among Mexican and Chilean teenagers.
UCL Social Research Institute Professor John Jerrim, the study’s author, has called for increased and improved education about spotting and avoiding online dangers like phishing emails.
His words were, “Socio-economically disadvantaged groups are – at least in some countries – at greater risk from phishing attempts than their more affluent peers.

Cognitive ability disparities along socioeconomic lines are a major factor in this. The schools’ present efforts to solve this problem do not appear to be working very well.

In addition to spreading awareness through education, efforts should be made to stop scam emails from being sent in the first place.

No conclusive evidence that children who were warned about the dangers of phishing emails at school were any less vulnerable to being duped was identified in the study.
“More needs to be done to help young people navigate what is becoming an increasingly complex and dangerous online world,” Prof. Jerrim emphasized.This is especially true for those who are the most susceptible to falling for digital fraud schemes.

The results coincide with a separate analysis by children’s online safety organization Internet Matters, released earlier this week, which found that low-income children are more likely to encounter harmful content when using the internet.
“Schools are acutely aware of the risks that young people can face online and teach pupils about these as part of their relationships, sex, and health education,” said Julie McCulloch, head of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders.People of all ages are vulnerable to cybercrime, and it’s on the rise. In addition to spreading awareness through education, efforts should be made to stop scam emails from being sent in the first place.
According to a representative for the UK’s Home Office, “improved education on how to protect yourself from fraud is a core priority in our Fraud Strategy.” That’s why we collaborated with the Association for Citizenship Teaching to develop a rich curriculum of engaging activities for students in high school. Phishing, money muling, and online social engineering are all discussed.

For the sake of protecting young people and the general public against fraud, the government is “absolutely committed to cracking down on scams” and “we continue to work intensively with partners.”

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