Topic: Technology

Whizz kids could one day save you from a cyber attack

By Leah Te Whata

A group of Auckland youngsters are learning skills that could make them our new wave of crime fighters - but not the ones you'd find on the street.

One of these whizz kids could one day save you from a cyber attack.

"There's a lot of things that can happen in the future because of the new developments in technology."

Taylor and his friends are a part of a Mind Lab holiday programme, learning a variety of computer skills including some that could combat cybercrime.

"You are going to need more people who are focussed on cybersecurity, being aware of these things and future proofing and safeguarding things."

Cybercrime cost New Zealanders $257 million in 2016 and one in five people were affected.

"There are going to be a lot more people going through and programming in the world at the moment who don't necessarily go through the standard of university and computer science so that means there's more room for people to hack."

More than 39,000 tertiary students were studying towards a career in IT in 2016.

Some children share their hopes for the future:

"I wanna be an artificial intelligence programmer."

"I want to be a scientist when I grow up."

"It depends on what happens in the future and what they need, depending on when robots are gonna come out they'll need more engineering or whatever the community needs."

Cyber Security is a top three earner in New Zealand which means Taylor and his mates would be earning around $105,000.