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Cyber crime advice for parents and carers

Our children are surrounded by technology, including phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, games consoles, TVs, smart devices, and of course, the internet.

Many young people are curious and want to explore how these things work, how they interact with each other, and what vulnerabilities they have. This can include learning to code and experimenting with tools and techniques found online, on video streaming websites, or discussed in forums.

These are great skills to have, and the cyber security industry is desperately short of people with the right skills. This means that working in cyber security can offer a great salary and job prospects. However, some young people make poor choices and use their new-found skills illegally. Often they don't even realise that what they're doing is against the law. The average age of someone convicted of cyber crime is much younger than other types of crime - offenders are often young teenagers.

Some young people are vulnerable to becoming involved in cyber crime, or they may have already committed cyber crime offences. They may be motivated by boredom or a desire to challenge their skills. Or they may just lack an understanding of the laws on cyber crime, and the consequences of breaking the law. They may be illegally hacking, or using stresser/booter services (designed to crash a website or device) to get an advantage while gaming, for example.



Cyber Choices guidance aims to prevent young people getting involved in cyber crime through education and showing them the legal way to use their skills.

The Cyber Choices guides are available for a range of different ages:

General guidance on the Computer Misuse Act 1990 is also available, as well as resources and fun activities.

Need help?


If you'd like more information or education/support on preventing cyber crime, please contact Adele Dack or a member of the Cleveland Police Cyber Crime Team by calling 01642 306852 or email cyber.prevent@cleveland.pnn.police.uk.

Together we can help our young people make positive choices online.

Useful links


Below are a list of organisations which offer useful advice about keeping safe and secure online, as well as education resources to help young people make the right choices about their online activities.

Parents: help your child make the right #CyberChoices


Young people: don't cross the line to cyber crime