With the physical grounds on which teens can commit crimes continue to shrink; they have now begun to opt for the cyber world. According to technology experts, teenage hackers have increased in number and internet security professionals state that the internet is filled with teenager’s phishing kits, swapping numbers and hacking. However despite so many of them, they aren’t exactly skilled to pass the various security checks present online which is why they are unable to hack into banks or government records and end up getting caught causing this to permanently make them have a criminal record.
Initially, it all starts out as being fun and exciting. They wish to do something different from what their routine entails and they begin to crack and exploit video games. The next stage involves teens entering online communities and forums and exchanging malicious programs and software, exchanging tips on hacking and even exchanging stolen data.
The director of malware research at FaceTime Security Chris Boyd says that it has been revealed that most of the malicious programs and virus codes have been created by teens themselves. This was revealed through the tracking of cases conducted on social networking hacking. According to him, teens do so either for fun or because they are being paid to do so. He believes that there are no skilled program developers or professionals and due to their amateur efforts, these teens end up becoming cyber criminals due to their hacks. Unfortunately it is because of their crude skills that they get caught easily. Sometimes, their efforts are of such a basic level that they end up infecting their own PC’s with viruses they were tying to create.
A lot of the times, the main reason why teens indulge in such activity is because they want to get fame within their peer group. According to a former teenage hacker Mathew Bevan, the main aim of what teen hackers do is to gain fame within the peer group. They spend a long time developing their status and who they are and do not wish to give this up quite so easily.
In past, there have been several cases in which serious damages have been done to teen agers. In 2011, internet activist and computer programmer, Aaron Swartz, was arrested due to hacking into an academic institute. He was charged with wire fraud and computer fraud carrying a penalty of $1 million and 35 years in prison. When prosecution rejected his offer to spend 6 months in jail he committed suicide. Without justifying, that weather Aaron is right or wrong; point arises why he tried to hack into a system at the first place. Like other teen agers he had a curious mind. He tried to go one step further than others. But when problems arose he could not sustain pressure built upon him.
While teens may think having a criminal record will make them famous, it can have dire consequences on their future which they certainly don’t consider. The criminal record is something which always stays with them. For them to be hired in a professional organization later on in life becomes quite difficult which is why these kids need to understand that having a criminal record is the worst possible thing for them. When teens don’t have this sense of responsibility, it is the parents who need to protect and prevent their children from engaging in carelessness. Parents should familiarize themselves with the latest gadgets and technology as well so they know how these cybercrimes can be prevented from occurring. One of the most common and effective ways is to install a parental control software on the home computer which can allow parents to keep a close watch on their child.
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Interesting read! Not something that I have given much thought to, but I can definitely see the appeal or temptation that teenagers might have, and most teenagers are unlikely to know the potential consequences of those actions. Teenagers also tend to have that sense of being untouchable, like nothing bad will happen to them. These teenagers that do commit these crimes, obviously are intelligent, and potentially future software developers, or website creators, or something IT related, not the usual teenager petty crimes, that we're more familiar with, or may have even committed ourselves when we were teenagers. These hacking crimes are serious, and have serious consequences. It's definitely important to try monitor what they are doing, and make sure they are made aware of the penalties if caught. Some really great points! Thanks Nicki!
Wow! What an interesting read. The concept of my kids committing cyber crime never occurred to me until now and I can see how kids could so easily fall into it. Hacking would be an attractive idea to a kid who thinks hiding behind a computer screen means they'll never be caught. They may think there will be no consequences because they will never be seen. Like the commenter above said, these kids are clearly very intelligent so maybe a good way to manage this is finding ways to steer them and their talents in the right direction. Maybe encouraging them to build games or apps is a good start and of course maintaining a high level of vigilance at all times.