Have You Heard of the Momo Challenge?
In today’s online world, one of the biggest challenges you may come across as a parent is how to protect your child from the dark side of the internet. The “Momo challenge” or “Momo game” gained a lot of attention last summer when it first became viral. Although it quickly died down, it recently has made a comeback. It is targeting young children specifically in the United Kingdom, however it has become an international concern.
The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, is being used by Momo to get in touch with children by sending them an anonymous contact for them to add. They are then exposed to a video that give them a bunch of dangerous instructions that they must complete. It demands that you record yourself completing each task as proof, in order to move onto the next level. If they choose not to complete these tasks, they then receive violent threats directed towards themselves and their family. The Momo threat videos also come up on YouTube without any warning, since they are hidden within seemingly kid-friendly videos.
Besides the safety of the children being exposed to these videos, another concern is that Momo is being run by hackers whose intention is to steal account passwords and ultimately hack into bank accounts. Police officials believe they are using Momo as a way to commit a large crime.
It’s extremely important to educate children of the potential dangers they can come across on the internet. Here are some points to consider:
- Keep your devices protected! Installing an anti-malware on all your devices will keep them virus free and prevent hackers from tricking children into downloading malware, which can lead to stolen passwords, credit cards, and other important information.
- Don’t talk to strangers online! Adding and talking to a stranger is very dangerous. A good idea to consider is having “shared” access between a parent and child on their account, that way the parent is aware of what is going on and can make safety adjustments.
- Content filters are beneficial when trying to control access! Even if you teach your children what to avoid and look out for, there are games or videos, such as Momo, that will still attempt to trick them into being exposed to inappropriate images or websites. If there is questionable content, parents should exercise their authority to block their child’s access to it. There are many options out there that can keep parents ahead of the game and keep their children away from the dangers of the internet.
Momo is just the most recent threat that is out there. Once this starts to take a back seat, there will be another one replacing it. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding these threats, but you can keep yourself and your family protected by taking some proactive steps before you are caught in the midst of it.