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.
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.