My Son Caught A “Hacker”!

NOTE: Just realized today is Take Your Child To Work Day so this is timely! 🙂
My sons, 12-years-old and 9-years-old, have been with me a lot while I work in my home office over the years, and they have a strong interest in much that I do. I even ask them to read the articles I write for Protecting Information since I want that publication to be informational to not only personnel, but also all the personnel’s family members.
It amazes me how much my sons soak up that I’m not even aware of…

The topic of my past fall issue of Protecting Information was social engineering. When Noah and Heath read the articles they didn’t really give me much feedback, but they said something like, “Yeah, that sounds good.” A pretty typical comment.
Well, a few days ago while I was running on my treadmill, I had just passed the 4 mile mark when Noah came running in all excited, “Momzy, Momzy…I caught a hacker!”
I must admit that at first I wasn’t thrilled to hear this…I was out of breath and could barely talk at the time…but then it clicked in, so I slowed my running down…
“What, Noah?”
“I caught a hacker!!”
“Where?” I thought he may have been talking about some animal from outside (we live out in the country on a farm, so we have lots of assorted wild animals running around).
“Online! On the Internet!”
“Where on the Internet?”
“In [online community name redacted]!”
“What do you mean, you caught a hacker?”
“Well…I noticed this one character was never getting hit or hurt by any of the monsters. The monsters’ attacks just went right through him. The attacks didn’t hurt him, or lessen his life.”
“And that isn’t normal?”
“No! Attacks monsters throw through the characters ALWAYS lessen life; so he must have done something. And when I asked him about it, he said, ‘I hacked the system’. ”
“Then what?”
“I asked, ‘How’d you do that?’ and he said, ‘Send me your password and I’ll tell you!’ He’s trying to trick me!”
“Yes, he is!”
“He’s social engineering me! I reported him to the community administrator.”
“If he was trying to get you to give him your password, then that certainly was something to report. Keep your eye out for him to see if he’s still around.”
“Oh, I will!”
Then he happily ran back into the other room.
So nice to know I’ve got my own cyberdectective on duty and looking out for bad guys online! And I know Heath is also on the lookout.
Spending just a little time talking about information security and privacy with kids can make SUCH a big difference in how they use online sites, and how they will view information security and privacy as they continue on to being working adults!

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