Cybercrime Fears for Children as Cost-of-Living Bites

Two-fifths (40%) of UK parents believe their children may turn to cybercrime because of the surging cost of living, according to a new study from the International Cyber Expo.

The organizers of the event commissioned Censuswide to poll 600 UK parents to better understand how economic pressures might drive up cybercrime.

The study also found that the same number (40%) of parents have fallen victim to at least one security breach in the past as a result of their kids’ online activities. Nearly a fifth (17%) said they experienced a breach twice and 10% three times.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents said they thought people will be more vulnerable to hacking due to the unfolding economic crisis, although it’s not clear why.

Over half (55%) agreed to be more vigilant about what their kids are doing online, while 42% said they’d reduce their children’s budget for online purchases.

Parents are undecided about who should be teaching children about cybersecurity, according to the research. Some 68% said they’d get involved in doing so, while 63% want schools to do more teaching about security awareness.

As of this week, inflation stood at 9.9% in the UK, driven by rising food costs and the continued soaring price of energy.

A report from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in early 2022 claimed that children as young as nine had launched DDoS attacks thanks to easy-to-use online services. It also revealed a 107% increase in reports to police of students deploying DDoS attacks between 2019 and 2020.

In July, security experts urged parents to take a closer interest in their children’s online activities after discovering a hacking group on Discord populated by kids.

The group was apparently advertising easy-to-use malware builders and toolkits for users to DIY their own ransomware, information stealers and crypto-miners.

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