12/5/16  |  Leave your thoughts

Keeping Generation Z Safe in Their Online World

By Art Coombs, CEO KomBea Corporation

Most of us have seen or at least heard about the Dateline story of How to Catch a Predator.  Most parents are concerned about – or at least should be – who their kids are talking to online and if they are Skyping or meeting these online friends.  Savvy parents should be educating their kids about internet safety. As Generation Z gets older and becomes the largest group of consumers (projected by 2020), there is another form of safety parents should be educating them about – identity theft.

First, let’s define Generation Z.  These are not Millennials, although they often get grouped into the same category. They are actually the post-Millennial generation with birth years starting around 2000. They are different from Millennials in that they had Snapchat at 12 years old and generally have never needed to make a regular phone call to communicate. They use up to five screens per day and have a huge internet footprint, making them extremely vulnerable to identity theft. Not only because they shop and bank online, but also because their social details live in the digital space.

The internet not only created an easier vehicle for sexual predators, but also for fraudsters. Parents often neglect educating their kids on protecting their personal and financial information.

When a company offers a product on the open market, it’s natural to assume they have already been vetted.  But that is not necessarily the case in today’s Internet world – where everything moves easier and faster. And when factoring in the amount of commerce that occurs with offshore entities, you can no longer assume that your merchant has gone through any kind of stringent security process. The faster technology moves, the faster the world becomes flat and borders dissolve.

As your kids get more into internet commerce—buying things via the internet or phone—it is important to teach them about credit/debit card security and identity theft.

Historically, there was no need to teach kids about a checking account until they had one.  But today’s Generation Z’s are already shopping online. They may start by using their parents’ credit card, but they will quickly make the transition to their own.

Parents can start teaching their kids to never give a credit or debit card number to a friend, to not read it out loud, and to not use it on a Website that doesn’t use SSL standards. Merchants carry a portion of this educational responsibility as well. As they begin to service this massive group of consumers, they need to properly manage information. Consumers should demand this from retailers, banks, cell phone providers, and any company that handles our sensitive information – whether that be credit card information, social security numbers, birth dates, etc.

The older generation asked the merchant for the carbon copy from those “chunk chunk” credit card slider devices—because that physical object contained their credit card details. In today’s digital world it’s no longer tangible, so we are unable to keep this sensitive data secure by ourselves.  Instead, merchants, retailers and financial institutions should be continually improving methods of authentication, to ensure the user is truly the owner of the credit card or other personal data. If both the merchant and consumer are aware and working proactively to protect sensitive information, it becomes harder for the fraudster to be successful.

About KomBea

KomBea Corporation is based in Salt lake City, Utah and specializes in software solutions for call center operations allowing them to be more efficient, secure and profitable.  KomBea is leading the industry with SecureCall, which allows call center agents to take sensitive information without ever seeing or hearing that information. KomBea’s other products include ExactCall and ProtoCall. More information is available at

About the Author

Art Coombs is currently, President and CEO of KomBea Corporation. Art has been developing and marketing tools that blend human intelligence and automation to improve call center phone interactions. Art has also served as; Executive Vice President of business development and strategic initiatives for FirstSource; CEO and founder of Echopass Corporation world’s premier contact center hosting environment, CEO of Sento Corporation; and Managing Director and VP of European business development for Sykes Enterprises.

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