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Trends Of A Teenage Hacker

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 When it comes to hacking social networks, girls are showing that they are more practical than boys in terms of what they are doing. Girls are more likely to go after information that leads to bank accounts, while boys are more likely to hack social networks in a survey conducted in England by Trend Micro. 

According to Trend Micro, social networks are helping in breeding the next generation of computer hackers. While parents are often unaware of what their kids are up to online, kids have a tendency to do things on line that they would otherwise not do in person. Boys are more likely to (according to the survey) to try to impersonate people, while girls are more likely to gather information that will allow them to go into other people’s bank accounts. One in three teens would consider hacking or spying on people for cash. While the best response is that parents need to step in and explain why this is a bad idea to a teenager, this is not as likely to happen when parents are absentee or otherwise not involved with their kids lives. 

This ups the stakes for social network sites, and how people share/consume data that is coming from social networking sites. 

• Over one in 10 teens thought it was ‘cool’ or ‘funny’ to pretend to be someone else online 
• One in seven 12 to 13 year olds have actually done this 
• Over four out of ten teens have hacked into another person’s profile to read emails or looked at bank account details or logged onto another person’s social networking profile 
• One in three teens have admitted to being tempted to try hacking or spying on the internet to make money 
• Boys it would seem, were almost twice as likely as girls to log into someone’s social networking site 
• Girls were up to three times more likely than boys to enter into someone’s online shop or bank accounts without the owner knowing 

Source: Global Security Magazine

What makes this interesting is a side note on ITPortal, in that they state the information that is given out on social networking sites makes it easier to guess the security questions that people often default to. 

The popularity of social networking websites like Facebook or Bebo makes it much easier for users to harvest personal information like date of birth and the name of the target’s mother, which are often asked as security questions. Source: ITPortal


This makes for an interesting survey, and also provides a basis for risk management in social networking sites, both for social networking administrative support, and for parents of kids who are starting to tend towards the dark side of computing. While you want to encourage your kids to learn computer skills, parents also have to step in when kids start crossing ethical/legal boundaries. We also need to be teaching people who use social networking sites that there are still things you do not want out in the open, like birthdate or other information that makes it easier for people to impersonate you or otherwise break into other accounts you might have on the internet. 

Tags: social, networking, kids, hacking, impersonation, hacker, girls, boys, parents, tips, parenting, trend micro, survey

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