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Morrisey offers security tips with technology gifts

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers to watch for identity theft, particularly after children receive digital devices for the holidays

Many children may have received new electronics as holiday gifts. These gadgets provide broad access to the Internet, which means every smartphone, tablet and gaming device poses an increased risk of identity theft by way of malicious apps and social networks.

“Parents should educate children about the risks associated with spending time online,” Morrisey said. “Children may be excited to have received a high-tech toy this Christmas. These gifts can become a great form of entertainment, but it’s important to not lose sight of basic safety measures.”

Parents and guardians may want to sit down with children and discuss the online dangers of talking to strangers and giving out personal information.

The Attorney General also offers these tips:

— Monitor social media use, even if children object.

— Lay down ground rules as a protective measure.

— Warn children that private information should not be shared.

— Caution children against downloading games or apps from third-party sites. It is also a good idea to have an adult approve any downloads.

— Maintain strict privacy settings on Facebook and other social networks.

Anyone who believes his or her child has been the victim of identity theft, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

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