NCA: One in Five British Children Latent Cybercriminators

In a recent report, The National Crime Agency (NCA) has revealed an alarming trend: one in five children between the ages of 10 to 16 are engaging in illegal activities online, in violation of local computer laws.

The report outlines various types of risky online behaviors, such as unauthorized access to accounts or data, downloading illegal software, cyberbullying, copyright infringements through illegal downloads or distributions, and infractions within online gaming environments.

The report emphasizes that many children may not fully grasp the legal ramifications or potential harms of these actions. This underscores the importance of fostering open dialogues between parents, schools, and children about internet safety and responsible online conduct.

The document stresses the importance of preventative education and awareness campaigns targeting both young people and adults. By increasing knowledge about cybercrime, its various forms, and legal consequences, the likelihood of adolescents engaging in risky online behaviors can be significantly reduced.

Additionally, the NCA recommends promoting positive alternatives to engage children in safe and productive online activities. This could involve encouraging their interests in educational resources, creative hobbies, and positive online communities.

Deputy Director of the NCA and Head of the National Cyber Crime Unit, Paul Foster, expressed concern over the involvement of many young people in cybercrime activities, often without fully understanding the repercussions. He urged teenagers to consider the long-term consequences of their actions, emphasizing that any form of cybercrime is unlawful and carries serious penalties.

The NCA report serves as a call to action for parents, educators, and policymakers to collaborate in addressing the issue of cybercrime among young individuals. By fostering open communication, promoting education and awareness, and encouraging responsible online behavior, a safer and more positive digital environment can be created for future generations, according to the agency.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.