Misleading advice in Europol's cybercrime page
Europol is the EU’s law enforcement agency, whose main goal is “to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens”. The Europol page about public awareness and prevention mixes good advice with a few… misleading bits of information.
To begin with, that page still defines hacking only as something that (*):
“involves gaining access to someone’s computer network without their permission and then taking control, and/or taking information from an organisation, agency or individual.”
But, as I pointed out 10 years ago, hacker and hacking have many more positive than negative meanings, and it has been so for decades. If your kids became hackers as in “followers of that tradition” you should be happy, not worried.
The most misleading part, however, is in the lists of “Warning signs that your child may be at risk of becoming involved in cybercrime:
- They spend most of their time online and are often secretive about their activities;
- They are excessively interested in coding;
- They seem to gain an additional income from their online activities, but they do not talk about how they do it;
- Your home network’s monthly data allowance is often met;
- They socialize more in the online world than offline
But signs 3, 5 and maybe even 1 (at least the “secretive” part) are much more likely to be, before anything else, signs that you’ve been doing something wrong as a parent. Regardless of if, and how much, “your child may be at risk of becoming involved in cybercrime”.
(*) to be fair, the same page also states that “Many children will have an active interest in coding and programming, spend a lot of time online and have independent learning materials. These are all signs of a healthy and positive interest in computing and the development of those extremely valuable skills should be encouraged – but in a lawful way.”
You may also:
- Follow my courses on Free Software, Digital Rights and more
- Read my free ebooks and other publications
- Support this and my other works
- The "Death of Tumblr" is nothing but proof n. 99999....
- The Internet of Things? Yes, but ONLY if it is OPEN and ORGANIC
- Hugo: a GREAT website generator with a couple pieces missing
- Halloween in Italy: cultural appropriation, or imposition?
- The dark side of resurrecting species from extinction
- How to recover a post that is not even in Google's cache anymore
- Save forests, not tigers or wolves
- What if that shooting guy had been a Thru...