Cyber-criminal scams often target youth and seniors

This is an image of a senior typing on a laptop's keyboard.

This October, during Cyber Security Awareness Month, we encourage you to protect your personal and the University of Toronto’s sensitive data. However, we also want to remind you to take cyber security knowledge home and share it with your family members -some of whom may be especially vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Often those most exposed to these types of scams are youth and seniors.

As tweens and teens join the digital world they need to learn about how the content they put on social media can be used for nefarious purposes. For example, young people should be reminded to never reveal their home or school address online. A handy motto to teach young children, including siblings, is: share with care.

Seniors are also often targeted by scammers. Recently, the Toronto Star reported on the grandma scam, which entails someone calling a senior claiming to be their grandchild and asking for money. Cyber criminals will use fear and urgency to pressure seniors into complying with scams. Teach your loved ones to think twice before responding to an unexpected request. For example, advise them to contact a trusted family member or neighbour to confirm the validity of unusual request(s).

This month help protect the vulnerable people in your life through education and awareness. To download resources and learn more about cyber security visit: