Who Needs Toys When You Can Hack? - The UpStream

Who Needs Toys When You Can Hack?

posted Sunday Mar 21, 2010 by Kyria Gianos

Who Needs Toys When You Can Hack?

Remember when children used to spend their free time messing with tinker toys and playing sports? It seems as if toys aren't intriguing enough for kids as they used to be and many in England have found a new way to occupy their time.

Apparently, the art of hacking has shifted from a difficult task that only few gifted and corrupt people could master, to a fun activity for teens and even children. A recent survey performed in England showed that 26 percent of children and teens interviewed have attempted to hack a wide variety sites from Facebook to school websites and even corporate sites. What was even more shocking, some succeeded. This is despite the fact that of the 1,150 interviewed, 78 percent believed it was inappropriate to hack into other's accounts and 53 percent believed it was actually illegal to do so.

The deputy chief constable of the Cumbria Police and the president of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace, Stuart Hyde, made a good point stating, "What this survey starkly highlights is that hacking into personal online accounts, whether e-mail or Facebook, can be child's play if users do not protect their own passwords. It illustrates the importance of keeping your passwords strong, secure, and changing them regularly."

The survey illustrated that the hackers did not discriminate against age, sex, or location of the hack, with an about even split of males and females, and a wide variety of locations from Internet cafes to the child's bedroom. Also, the most popular reason for hacking was for fun with 46 percent, but surprisingly 21 percent performed the hack in hopes of causing disruption, and 20 percent even believed they would be able to make money off of this "skill." And these are young teens and children who are thinking about this! With so many children experimenting with hacking, it's probably about time you install that firewall and change your passwords often, you never know who may get in!

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