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Kids and Cyber Crime

Cybercrime can happen to anyone, regardless of location or economic status. It is a form of crime that is easy to commit, with computer screens providing a level of anonymity for criminals to hide behind. From financial fraud and identity theft to cyber bullying, these crimes are the result of adults and children willing to break the law through electronic means for financial or personal gain.

The largest factor for children and youth who commit cybercrime is the presence of other children who commit cybercrime. Peer pressure creates an environment for these offenses to occur, and the victims may not appear to be real to kids used to playing video games, watching television and having a desensitized response to the world. Crimes of this nature can seem like harmless fun, especially to those with low impulse control combined with computer skills that rival even the most experienced Cyber Security professional.

The most common cybercrimes committed by juveniles are cyber bullying, downloading media like movies and music, harassment through e-mail, text or social networking sites, the viewing of pornographic materials and hacking into computers and public or private networks. With the media spotlight on the deaths of teenagers and young adults resulting from online harassment and cyber bullying, campaigns across the country have begun to educate these children about the emotional toll these crimes take on victims. Because of the age of these criminals, Cyber Security professionals and law enforcement officials have a difficult time seeking fair punishments, if these juveniles are even convicted. Finding the right balance between educating youth on the effects of cybercrime on the community, or cyber bullying on peers can be a difficult task, and many juveniles continue to commit the same types of crimes regardless of the consequence. Programs that provide tools for reporting cyber bullying and other cybercrimes by those who witness it happen can be one solution in the prevention of these crimes.

Juvenile crimes that occur over the Internet, on computers or through cell phones and text messaging can be just as damaging as verbal threats or crimes that harm personal property. The effects of these crimes, usually only visible to the victim and any family or friends, can be long-lasting and detrimental to the mental and emotional health of those affected. In order to fight the threat of cybercrimes committed by juveniles, a qualified professional with a degree in cyber security can provide a higher level of security and create a zero-tolerance environment that takes control of these devastating crimes.

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