Cyber Crime Prevention Tips from the UK

Are your children involved in cyber crime? In a recent update from the National Crime Agency we get an informative posting on the definition of  cyber crime, and them some confusing information on how to identify someone who might be involved in this dangerous and illegal activity.

Examples of cyber crime include:

  • Hacking – this involves gaining access into someone’s computer network without their permission, and then taking control and/or taking information from other people’s computers. Examples may include accessing the secure area on the school’s computer network and looking for test paper answers or trying to change test scores.
  • Making, supplying or obtaining malware (malicious software), viruses, spyware, botnets and Remote Access Trojans is illegal. These programmes allow criminals to get into other people’s computers to carry out illegal activities. ‘Pranking’, by remotely accessing a friends computer when they don’t know you are doing it and messing around is still illegal.
  • Carrying out a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack or ‘booting’ A DDoS is when a website is attacked by sending it lots of internet traffic. This means anyone who wants to visit that site won’t be able to access it. Booting someone offline whilst playing online games may seem like a harmless joke, but is still illegal.

Warning signs of cyber crime

  • Is your child spending all of their time online?
  • Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?
  • Do they have irregular sleeping patterns?
  • Do they get an income from their online activities, do you know why and how?
  • Are they resistant when asked what they do online?
  • Do they use the full data allowance on the home broadband?
  • Have they become more socially isolated?

Most children I know have most (or all) of these warning signs. It is the 21st century, by the way. Is this really how we get more children involved in STEM?


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