The National Crime Agency have a page on their website called “Cyber crime: Preventing young people from getting involved”.
On this page, is a section labelling “Warning signs of cyber crime” which are warning signs that a young person is at risk of getting involved in Cyber Crime.
Apart from one, I’m all of these in this list and have been for years. Yet, I’ve not performed in any sort of cyber crime.
Or maybe I have and I’m just not aware? Or am I now just in a box?
Anyway… This annoyed me so much… I emailed them.
I was very disturbed today to find out that the National Crime Agency is scaremongering Parents, Teachers and other adults on computer activities.
It’s very common nowadays for teens and adults alike to spend a lot of time on computers. To be interested in coding, be very active and also not like to talk about everything they do online.
To see your page, http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/cyber-crime/cyber-crime-preventing-young-people-from-getting-involved, label these people as potential cyber criminals is disturbing and scaremongering.
Warning signs of cyber crime The following behaviours may indicate a young person is at risk of getting involved in cyber crime:
Is your child spending all of their time online?
- Most children do these days. They spend a lot of time on YouTube, Minecraft, Tumblr, Twitter… This is normal. Has been for many years.
Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?
- How on earth is this a warning sign of cyber crime? How do you think people will become Web developers, graphic designers, application developers and so on - without having this interest or learning about it? That is not cyber crime, that is having an interest.
Do they have irregular sleeping patterns?
- Again, this is normal for anyone using a computer heavily. Especially when doing the two statements above. It’s a bad habit to get in and one that can be fixed by the young person themselves.
Do they get an income from their online activities, do you know why and how?
- Why should anyone tell people how they are getting an income? Many young people get an income from trying to be the next YouTuber. Or the next app developer. Some of these don’t tell their family because they’ll be scared of what they’ll say. Just like many Youtubers today have stated they didn’t tell their family in the past - some for a long time.
Are they resistant when asked what they do online?
- Why wouldn’t they be? It’ll make it seem like they aren’t trusted. Can’t you just trust people?
Do they use the full data allowance on the home broadband?
- If anyone has such a data allowance anymore then this needs looked into. However, it’s also almost impossible to determine who has used up the data usage in the house. Likewise - many parents who use internet streaming services don’t realise how much usage this takes. They then blame the child due to their own naiveness.
Have they become more socially isolated?
- This is normal for anyone who are active online. Them being online isn’t the cause of this. The cause of this is problems in life which is making them move to being online more. If a parent/guardian/teacher is worried about someone - they should indeed speak to them and see if everything is OK. Not branding them as a cyber criminal.
I beg, for the sake of sanity, to change this page to be truthful information and not a way to scare parents from letting their kids use the internet.
The internet is a great place. It’s about time people stop pretending it’s scary by blowing stuff out of proportion.
Next you’ll state kids are joining ISIS because of a Facebook Page… (DISCLAIMER: That was sarcasm. It’s not a thing).
(Avid internet user since age 8. Now 25. became all these things (minus generating income) very early and not once performed any cyber crime.)