Going to town specifically to buy a new T-shirt? For many, this is no longer an option these days. Better to buy it on the Internet. However, online shopping has its pitfalls - especially for children and young people.
Young people are being influenced by advertising
Constant product advertising entices children and young people to acqIn addition to numerous benefits, online shopping also carries risks. Especially for children and young people.According to the "Youth and Media" platform, 47 percent of all elementary school pupils and even 77 percent of 12- to 13-year-olds in Switzerland own their own smartphones. Children are thus surfing the Internet independently and unnoticed at an increasingly early age and are exposed to purchase incentives or even fraud attempts.
Online they are constantly confronted with targeted and personalized product advertising through banners, ads, and influencers and are rather easily influenced. With just a few clicks, then, goods are often already ordered - without parental permission or without thinking about it yet.
What risks online shopping hides?
One of the greatest dangers of online shopping for children and teens is ordering against invoice. On the Internet, they can buy goods without having to pay for them right away. This makes it easier to spend more money than they actually have.
In addition, hidden costs often lurk, for example in shipping costs. Another danger is fake stores. They entice with extremely cheap offers, but never send the goods after payment. These stores are sometimes so well made that even adults hardly recognize fraudulent offers.
What parents can do to protect their children on the Internet?
Of course, online shopping should not be demonized despite the possible risks. However, it is important to discuss the dangers with children and make them aware of them. Parents can, for example, take a closer look at an online store together with their children and make their first purchase together.
Of paramount importance is the recognition of trustworthy online stores. Important indications of this are, for example, whether the homepage has an impressum with a valid address or a special seal of quality, such as Swiss Online Garantie or Trusted Shops. Another help are special add-ons for web browsers, for example "TrustedShops" for Chrome. With these, young people can recognize and avoid non-serious online stores. Commenting and rating functions in stores also help. If the ratings are consistently negative, one should avoid buying altogether.
Parents can also support their children by explaining the consequences of unpaid bills. Because young people are often not even aware of the risk of debt.
How children can protect themselves in online shopping?
Children and young people can also reduce risks when shopping on the Internet. Make your children understand that online advertising is not random, but based on their Internet search behavior. Therefore, kids should critically examine the bargains and discounts offered. In general, it is important that they do not make false age statements.
This is because if minors give a false date of birth at the time of purchase, it becomes almost impossible to recover the money. Also, before buying something expensive, it makes sense for the child to think carefully about whether the purchase is absolutely necessary, discuss it with parents or friends, and sleep on it overnight. This awareness helps children and young people protect themselves from purchases with serious consequences.