That online game might be leading your child into the seedy underground world of hackers — or so one list would have you believe.
The list, published in the Liverpool Echo, gives parents some warning signs that their child might be involved in cyber crime.
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It’s commendable to encourage parents to be aware of their kids’ online activities. But the list is so broad, and encompasses such innocuous behavior, that almost anyone could qualify as a hacker.
Warning signs include gems like:
- They spend most of their free time alone with their computer — I play and work on my computer.
- They have few real friends, but talk extensively to online friends — Apparently all my gaming friends online aren’t my “real” friends.
- They have an odd-sounding nickname — Multiple people in my circle of friends call me “Athena” thanks to my gaming handle. Does that count?
- Your internet connection slows or goes off, as their hacker rivals try to take them down — No comment.
The list even borders on offensive, saying, “Some circumstantial evidence suggests children with Autism and Asperger’s could be more vulnerable to becoming hackers.”
This is part of a program called “Hackers to Heroes,” which encourages computer-savvy kids to use their talents for good.
The man behind the list is self-described cybersecurity expert Vince Warrington, who warns that children as young as 8 are at risk of becoming hackers. They get their start, he claims, exploiting flaws in online games and selling the information.
Gamers and kids everywhere — we’re all hackers now.