My teenager's new friend claims he's a computer hacker? Should I be alarmed?
Often times when we hear about hacking, we leap to the darkest possible assumptions, according to Anne Collier, founder of Net Family News, a nonprofit news service. But consider the case of a high school student in Pennsylvania who found a security flaw in a brand of server hardware that's made for Internet service providers. If manufacturers are made aware of such feats, computer makers and web services can better secure their products and services.
That’s not to say that hackers aren’t a real threat. Some create worms that seize control of networks or computers. Others take down a web site and extort money from the site’s owner. Some malicious hackers target home computers, stealing your personal data and opening accounts in your name.
So, get to know your teen’s friend
and find out what kind of hacking he is doing, says Collier. If
his hacking is malicious, your concern is valid. If caught, he
could face criminal charges or fines. Be sure to tell your son this
is a serious issue.
But if he’s testing system security, he may actually be doing a service, and may even find a career in security down the road.
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