Two in Three Teens Have Tried Hacking, Study Finds

By Matthew Harwood

A recent survey from IT security firm Panda Security found that a little over two out of three teenagers have attempted to hack into their friends' online accounts, reports SC Magazine.

However, in what researchers found most alarming about the adolescents' online behavior, some 67 per cent admitted to "having tried, on at least one occasion, to hack into friends' instant messaging or social network accounts."

According to Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, “The advanced knowledge that many adolescents acquire through free tools and content available on the web can often lead them to engage in illegal online activities."

He said that his research team had discovered instances of teenagers employing trojans to spy on their friends, hacking into servers at their school to get a preview of exam papers, and stealing the identity of friends and acquaintances on social networks.

PC Advisor, however, found another statistic from the study more disconcerting: one in five teenagers have access to hacking tools.

And while 86 percent of all teenagers surveyed said they tried hacking out of curiosity, a sizable minority (20 percent) said they published online embarrassing photographs or videos of friends and acquaintances, according to the Web site.

The survey, says Corrons, shows that schools need to establish ethics courses to teach kids saturated in the Internet and its culture what is right and what is wrong to do online.

♦ Photo by Zenobia_Joy/Flickr


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