One in three British teenagers would consider hacking or spying on people online if they knew they’d make money from it, new research revealed this week.
Today’s kids lack ‘e-morals’ and ‘netiquette’, the research concluded, as they spend time online looking for ways to make fast cash.
Forty percent of the teens polled said they have hacked into another person’s online account to read emails, look at bank details, or have a nosey at personal information.
Over one in ten of 12-18 year olds said they thought it would be ‘cool’ or ‘funny’ to use someone else’s identity online, whilst one in seven 12 to 13 year olds have actually done this.
Parents are nearly as bad as their children, with one in three admitting that they’d hacked into someone else’s online account - be it email, bank account, or social networking profile.
Social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook and Twitter make it easier than ever for teens to hack because these sites give away personal details such as date of birth that are often asked as security questions for online accounts.
Rik Ferguson, speaking for Trend Micro who conducted the research, said that hacking has become the “online version of kids breaking into school to change their reports.”
Parents need to learn how to use and protect their computers, and to lay down guidelines for their children for online activities, Ferguson concluded.