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“Mommy, I want to be a Hacker when I grow up”

Feb 11, 2013
News

It won’t be long before children learn that digital technology is just as admiring of a profession, as say, a fireman or policeman. Kids as young as 11 years old are already writing malicious computer code to hack friends accounts on gaming sites and social networks. AVG recently confirmed that a boy from Canada was identified using malware to steal virtual currency from friends on a site called, “Runscape Gold Hack”. The program offered to give the gamer free virtual currency to use in the game,  but instead was stealing log-in details from unsuspecting users. Sufficient information was exposed in the same malware source code to allow AVG researchers to identify what town the boy lived in, his e-mail and passwords. They also learned that his parents had recently purchased him to a new iPhone.

 

Although, these hacking techniques were proven to be amateur, using  programming languages C # and Visual Basic, one still needs to understand the proper ethics of hacking. Mr. Ben Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at AVG said, 

 

“You teach your children that you can’t take a toy without paying – so I think this type of a message needs to get to the kids when they’re writing software too.”

 

“As more schools are educating people for programming in this early stage, before they are adults and understand the impact of what they’re doing, this will continue to grow.”

 

Soon digital technology will become just as important as Math, English and Science skills.  Already engaging worldwide attention, are movements to educate children to write code, build apps to learning HTML and Javascript.

 

Sites such as, CoderDojo and Codecademy offer free and open learning to young children.  Young people can learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more.

 

As parents, we may not understand coding, but we do know right from wrong, which is no different from cheating in a card game. So before you hand over the latest iPhone,Tablet, or Smartphone to your kid to entertain themselves, think twice about their activity. Both parents and educators need to teach code responsibly, enforce educational guidelines and encourage ethical behaviour.

 

 

Rachel Gilliland

Toronto Professional Services Team

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