Are your children secretly spending online?

80% children buying goods online use their parents’ cards or PayPal and are risking identity fraud


Children in the UK are spending an astonishing £64million online without their parents knowing. Even worse (for the Bank of Mum & Dad), most are not checking whether the site is secure, opening their parents up to potential fraud.


A new survey by Identity Protection company, CPP, shows that around 14% of online purchases made by children aged 7 to 16 are done behind their parents’ backs. The research also shows that 80% of children’s purchases are made using parents’ credit cards and PayPal accounts.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of all this (apart from the effect on your bank balance) is that the majority of children don’t know how to check that the website is secure.

If you’re happy for your child to be buying online, make sure they’re looking for either:

  • the little locked padlock sign in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen
  • or the URL changing from http to https once they start the paying transaction

These signs show that the site is secure.

“Parents need to educate their children about the very real risks of shopping online,” said Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP.


“They need to ensure that their children only put sensitive information into sites that are encrypted, trusted and secure, and teach them about what signs to look for in a safe site.”

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