posted Apr 14, 2001

Teaching Kids About Hacking
Hacking & Cracking
4/14/2001; 5:18:27 PM 'Technical ignorance is an excuse used by too many parents and teachers in their failure to teach kids cyberethics, computer security consultant Winn Schwartau says.

'So Schwartau wrote a book, Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids, to educate both computer-savvy youngsters and technically challenged adults.

'Schwartau has been honored for his security work by heads of governments and the military in the United States and Europe, and has written or contributed to a dozen well-regarded books on computer and Internet security.'

*whistle* Wow, is this ever a minefield.  Read this and roll it around and look at it from a few angles.  This one brings up a lot of interesting questions, like...

'"Kids do not need or want to be preached to by me or by anyone," Schwartau said. "They want to grow and think and make a few mistakes along the way. Didn't we?"'

I agree with this in general. But these "mistakes" are the kind of thing that might bring the FBI down on you.  Perhaps a bit more protection is in order...?  Or not. Touchy issue.

One other comment. You may not know this if your life doesn't revolve around computers like mine does, but cracking is fun. I don't do it much, and I always make sure it's both legal and ethical when I do it (want to make my day? Ask me to break your software), but on those rare occasions when I have time, the desire, and the opportunity, it's always great fun. Granted, I usually look for security holes rather then steal passwords from people, but the thrill is probably much the same. If you've got computer-savvy children, I'd recommend preparing yourself for the possibility your children will get in over their head.

Book excerpts are available from the web site.


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