MORE teenagers than ever are managing their money online, sparking increasing concern among parents about how to keep them safe.

They are right to be worried. Research commissioned by NatWest found young people are less cautious and security conscious online than older generations.

Meanwhile, figures from fraud prevention service Cifas show a 75 per cent rise in the misuse of bank accounts involving under 25s during the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period the previous year.

According to Halifax, 11-to-18 year olds are making 40 per cent more use of internet and mobile technology to do their banking than they were two years ago.

As a result, teenagers are now more likely to request a bank transfer from their parents to pay for an outing than to ask for cash.

Over half of the bank’s customers aged 18 and under now operate their current account online. On average, they carry out 12 transactions this way each month, 90 per cent of them via their phones, with the remainder on tablets or desktop PCs.

According to not-for-profit e-safety organisation Internet Matters two-thirds of parents worry about their children sharing personal information with strangers online or having their identity stolen.

Carolyn Bunting, chief executive of the organisation, said: “Children are growing up in a digital age, so it’s important that children and young adults know how to protect themselves when banking online.

“Our study shows parents have concerns that their children can be left vulnerable to fraud and contact from strangers, so they need to be armed with the tools and advice to help protect them online.”

Allowing children to manage their own cash is an important part of teaching them the value of money and how to budget, but it can also put them at risk.

Internet Matters has teamed up with Halifax to produce a video for parents to help them talk to teenagers about how best to look after their money and stay safe online.

It is available to view in the bank's branches and by visiting the website

To help your children stay safe, ensure they set strong banking passwords that cannot be easily guessed and that these are different to the ones they use for other websites.

Birthdays, address details, family names and the names of pets should be avoided, and they should combine random words, capital letters, numbers and symbols.

Make sure they secure their phone or tablet with a screen lock, using a fingerprint, password, PIN code or swipe pattern. The latter should not be something easy to guess, such as 1,2,3,4 or an L shape.

Impress on them the importance of only accessing their account using secure and trusted connections and never through public wifi, and ensure they limit the amount of personal information they share online to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud.

They should never click on links in suspicious emails or pop-up windows, no matter how intriguing, and never share personal details and passwords.

Remind them that no bank or other reputable organisation will ever request their online password, sign-in details or PIN code – and that any demand for this type of information will be a scam and should be reported.

Ensure they use the privacy settings on social networking sites, so that only close friends can search for them and see what they have posted.

Explain the dangers and potential consequences of their mobile devices being infected with viruses and other malware. Check they have effective and up-to-date anti-virus software and that they never turn off the virus scanner or firewall in a bid to speed the device up.

Website said that although paid-for anti-virus products usually offer better technical support and more comprehensive protection features, some free packages “can still give paid packages a run for their money”.

It is also important that they keep updates turned on for their operating system, browser and apps, to prevent any emerging vulnerabilities being exploited by hackers.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “We hope more parents will have the confidence to give their children the skills they need to get the most out of being online.”