A new survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of under 600 parents across the UK International Cyber Exhibition found that 40% of parents believe children will turn to cybercrime during the cost-of-living crisis.
The survey also found that 40% of parents have been victims of at least one security breach as a result of their children’s online activities, with 17% experiencing two security breaches and 10% three security breaches. The survey was commissioned to understand changing behaviors and attitudes of parents towards their children’s online activities in light of the cost of living crisis.
However, there are some promising signs of changing attitudes towards cyber awareness: more than two-thirds of parents agree they will teach their children the importance of online safety because they can’t afford to be hacked. Another 63% of parents wanted their children’s schools to do more to educate their children about cybersecurity when they go back to school this September.
Worryingly, 62% of parents believe the crisis will make people more vulnerable to hackers as people will be more desperate.
Simon Newman, member of the International Cyber Expo Advisory Council and CEO of the Cyber Resilience Center for London, said: “As hacking tools become more accessible and affordable on the internet, we have seen a rise in ‘script kiddies‘; inexperienced hackers carry out cyber attacks. While “kiddies” does not necessarily refer to the hacker’s age, but to their experience, it has been found that many are teenagers.”
“In fact, the median age of a referral to the National Cyber Crime Unit in the UK is just 15.”
As spending continues to skyrocket, many parents are also reconsidering their children’s online spending. In fact, 55% agree they will watch what their children spend online, while 42% agree they will reduce their children’s online shopping budget.
Philip Ingram MBE, former Senior British Military Intelligence Officer and Content Lead for the International Cyber Expo adds: “Rising costs will certainly put pressure on many households in the coming months and the fallout could go either wayp.”
“On the one hand, we are likely to see children and their parents being bombarded with a greater number of cyber threats, such as phishing emails, which will bet on the financial burden on the public. On the other hand, we can see children turning to cybercrime to make up for lack of finances. In such times of heightened emotion, the cybercrime world thrives.”
Simon Newman concluded: “Although law enforcement agencies are working hard to shut down websites and forums that encourage hacking, the results of this survey also show that parents/guardians need to take an active interest in what their children are doing online to prevent this.” from getting on the wrong side of the law.”
The International Cyber Expo will be held in London Olympia, Kensington on September 27-28.