High School Cybercrimes

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 23, 2009

As you may have guessed, cybercrimes are much more prevalent for older children. High school aged kids are more involved in Internet social networks and are less supervised by their parents, these two factors alone open up the possibility for cybercrimes. In a study done by the Rochester Institute of Technology, it was found that high school aged kids were both more willing to interact with people that they did not know and more willing to divulge personal information about themselves than any other school age group. The details of the study are explained below.

When tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders were asked about their Internet usage habits, their answers were quite surprising. When asked if in the past year they had interacted with strangers online, the answers of the high school aged kids is as follows: chatting 48%; flirting 25%; providing personal information 22%; talking about private things 17% and engaging in sexually oriented chat 15%. For parents who grew up in a world that was either just getting to know about what the Internet was or even a time where computers were new, these threats are both new and disturbing. Many parents are unaware of the fact that their child has access to unlimited content of both tasteful and very objectionable content. Moreover, all of this access is just a click away.

You though that you taught your child what they needed to know about the dangers of talking to strangers when they were young, but a whole new stranger danger exists online. The RIT study found that 14% of these high school aged kids have accepted an invitation to meet an online stranger in-person and 14% of students, who are usually the same individuals, have invited an online stranger to meet them in-person. The places that these people meet are not always public and there are times when the meetings are private.

Unless a parent is playing an active role in keeping track of where their children are going, these secret and potentially dangerous meetings are happening in without any parental knowledge. Not to mention the fact that although many of the people your child may be talking to online are most likely friends or people of the same age, there are no guarantees. A predator can very easily pose as a young person and use simple tactics to carry out their crimes.

Predators and Internet dangers come in many forms. This can be seen by the numbers in the study that show that 16% of the high school kids questioned have experienced cyber bullying; 17% have been embarrassed online; and 15% have been harassed or stalked online. Cyber bullying is much the same as the bullying that may have gone on in your school, except the bullying is done verbally and in some cases through videos and pictures, all of which are then posted online for a world wide audience. Speaking of world wide audiences, another danger that can be found by kids on the Internet is the danger of coming across objectionable content such as pornography, while they are online. Twenty three percent of the high school aged kids asked reported that they had been exposed to unwanted pornography and 23% have been asked about sexual things online.

Unfortunately, it is not always others to blame for the cyber crimes that occur online. In fact, according to the RIT study, “21% admitted using a computer or electronic device to cheat on a school assignment within the last school year. 12% admitted plagiarism and 9% reported having used a device to cheat on an exam. 65% have illegally downloaded music in the past year; 34% have illegally downloaded movies and 30% have illegally downloaded software.
12% of students in high school reported they circumvented computer security systems designed to filter or block their access to Web sites.”

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "High School Cybercrimes." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 23 Feb. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/540/high-school-cybercrimes/ >.