Video games are a fast growing gateway for young people to develop their talents in coding and programming, both of which are increasingly valued skills for a career path in the tech sector and beyond. But are you aware of the rules governing cyberspace in the UK? More importantly, how can you ensure you're not breaking them online?
The Computer Misuse Act provides a clear set of guidelines for those who may be developing skills in coding or programming, including those with an interest and presence in online gaming. A clear understanding of this law can lead to safer and more informed decisions online, protecting yourself and others from potentially cybercriminal behaviour.
You might think that some cyber offences, such as ‘low level’ hacking or DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, are not monitored by UK law enforcement. However, earlier this year, authorities took down the 'Imminent Monitor' RAT malware operation, with a number of arrests across eight countries. Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Regional or Force Cybercrime units will soon be visiting those identified in the UK as having downloaded or used the ‘Imminent Monitor’ malware.
Most recently a number of UK based users of the online ‘Booter’ service ‘Webstresser’ have received visits from their local Cybercrime units. Ultimately, this all comes down to a matter of staying safe and protected online, and making sure the lines between gaming, a hobby we love, and cybercrime, a criminal offence, remain firm and clearly defined.
For those concerned about how to protect themselves from potential malware infection, there are a number of simple steps you can take right now, from making sure your OS and AV is updated to the latest version, avoid downloading files or clicking links within emails from senders you do not trust.
To learn more about the work of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, and their work to prevent youngsters getting involved in cyber crime, you can read more information on Pathways into Cyber Crime here.