Anti-malware firm Trend Micro launched some new research today, which sheds some interesting light on the motivation and origins of hackers.
The firm polled around 1,000 parents and teenaged children and found that 40 per cent of kids have hacked into another person's profile to read emails, look at bank account details or log onto another person's social networking profile.
A third admitted to being tempted to try hacking or spying on the internet to make money, while, slightly less worryingly, ten per cent thought it was "cool" or "funny" to pretend to be someone else online.
The stats highlight that Britain is breeding the next generation of computer hackers, and shows that parents need to keep a closer eye on the surfing behaviour of their children, according to Trend Micro.
"In the past, we've seen a large increase in this kind of behaviour in holiday periods," commented Trend Micro security expert Rik Ferguson.
"Parents need to ensure they lead by example at all times, clearly but appropriately lay down some simple family guidelines and make sure they oversee the online activity without being obviously intrusive."
The firm recommended parents keep computers in common areas of the house, to set time limits on internet usage and to check browser history, among other things.
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