The Internet is full of enticements to sign up for something. Sometimes these come-ons make it sound like you've won a prize, and all you need to do is register to receive your winnings. If your kid registered for an account, downloaded a program, or entered a contest, you may not know unless you notice a new program on your computer. Here's how to get to the bottom of things, in order of the least intrusive:
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- Ask your kid. Explain that there are a lot of scams out there that can spread viruses, so it's important to ask permission before signing up for something.
- Check the browser history. Look for telltale words like "registration page" or "thank you for registering."
- Check your kid's email. Companies send a confirmation email to the address used in the sign-up. If your kid is under 13, companies are supposed to get your permission before they collect or use any information from your kid -- although it's easy for kids to dodge that and say that they're older.