This is a very important question to ask yourself, what would you do as a brother/sister/parent or relative if you found out a hacker had been exchanging messages and pictures with a child?! Which steps would you take first? Would you ask the child if something weird has happened or if the person had made weird requests? or would you start scanning the device for viruses or malware?!
The current digital age is allowing children to be connected to the internet via their smart phones, tablets, laptops and computers. This also means that they are a potential target for hackers because who is going to teach those children about online security and privacy? Most of the times, the parents are busy with other things, like maintaining their own Facebook profile and this has a direct impact on the security of the child and the environment of the child.
It is not hard for the hackers to find these targets, for example, a couple years ago, while Justin Bieber was a minor, cybercriminals were able to join Justin Bieber Facebook pages with a fake account, and simply start sharing pictures of Justin Bieber and it would allow them to be added by dozens of unaware minors. Once the unaware minors had added the cybercriminals, the cybercriminals would send them links which contained viruses. These viruses and Trojans would allow the cybercriminals to remotely control the device of the minor.
This would mean that the cybercriminal is able to start the webcam and microphone and the cybercriminal will be able to navigate through the files which are stored, it also allows the cybercriminal to infect the network which is connected to the infected device.
Bit of a doomsday scenario, but it is reality
The last step would allow the cybercriminal to gain access to the devices of the parents and people which are using the network of the infected device, now just imagine that the parent is a company owner, and that the parent stores information on his personal laptop. Well, from now on, he will also be sharing his company information with the cybercriminal which gained access by infecting a minor internet user.
Now what should you do
There are a couple of important steps to take once you find out that the child has been in contact with a hacker. The first and most important step is to disconnect the device from the internet, once you have disconnected the device, ask the child if something weird has happened, YOU NEVER KNOW UNTILL YOU ASK.
If something has happened, immediately notify the police and allow them to investigate the computer. If the child does not say something troubling, then you can start cleaning the device of the child.
If the child is using a social media account like Facebook, then make sure that you secure the social media account by following these tutorials and make sure that you report the user (DO NOT ENGAGE IN A CONVERSATION):
If you want to clean the device, we strongly recommend you to download an up to date antivirus for the device, and ask yourself this – is it really important to allow the child to be connected 100% of the time to the internet? 😉
Please inform your environment about this threat which might hit their child or brother/sister. We thank you in advance and please stay vigilant.