Online crime and iden­tity theft is noth­ing new — but what is shock­ing is the increas­ingly young age of alleged hack­ers accused of tap­ping into some of the world’s highest-profile online organisations.

A 15-year-old youth has been arrested in con­nec­tion with a recent cyber-attack on UK com­mu­ni­ca­tions giant Talk­Talk, which saw almost 157,000 cus­tomers’ per­sonal details accessed and more than 15,000 bank account details stolen. The alleged hacker, from North­ern Ire­land, was one of four peo­ple detained under the Com­puter Mis­use Act. He was released on bail after being inter­viewed on sus­pi­cion of offences against the tele­phone and broad­band provider.

A sim­i­lar sce­nario has erupted in the United States fol­low­ing alle­ga­tions that the email account of Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency direc­tor John Bren­nan was hacked by a 13-year-old high school stu­dent. The FBI is inves­ti­gat­ing after it was alleged the teenager accessed emails con­tain­ing per­sonal infor­ma­tion, includ­ing Social Secu­rity num­bers, of more than a dozen high-ranking Amer­i­can intel­li­gence offi­cials. It was claimed some of the hacked infor­ma­tion was posted on social net­work­ing site Twitter.

With inci­dents of hi-tech crimes allegedly per­pe­trated by young offend­ers hit­ting the head­lines, the ques­tion arises of how to deal with those who carry out such a seri­ous crim­i­nal offence.

In the UK, the Youth Offend­ing Team (YOT) — set up under the 1998 Crime and Dis­or­der Act — deals with young offend­ers aged under 18 years. A multi-agency team, co-ordinated by a local author­ity and over­seen by the Youth Jus­tice Board, it attempts to pre­vent incar­cer­a­tion. YOTs super­vise young peo­ple who are serv­ing com­mu­nity sen­tences and some­times organ­ises meet­ings between offend­ers and their vic­tims, encour­ag­ing an apol­ogy and reparation.

The YOT also arranges for an appro­pri­ate adult to accom­pany to the police sta­tion those youths aged under 17 years who have been arrested to advise the young person.

A com­mon pun­ish­ment meted out to young offend­ers in the UK is an Anti-Social Behav­iour Order or ASBO, a civil order designed to pro­tect the pub­lic from harass­ment, dis­tress or alarm. Any­one aged over ten years can be sub­ject to an ASBO, which pro­hibits them from doing cer­tain things, such as spend­ing time with known trouble-makers, or going to cer­tain places. Break­ing an ASBO is a crim­i­nal offence.

YOT jobs, espe­cially in today’s cli­mate, are chal­leng­ing and mean tak­ing a non-judgmental approach to young offend­ers. It also means adapt­ing to changes in the type of youth crime in the 21st cen­tury, as young peo­ple have the power to bring down national com­pa­nies — and even the gov­ern­ment — by hack­ing. In Feb­ru­ary 2015, the APPG Inquiry into Anti-Semitism asked the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice to look into Inter­net ASBOs, which would ban offend­ers from social net­work­ing sites and hid­ing behind fake iden­ti­ties. The inquiry was aimed at com­bat­ing online racist abuse of Jew­ish peo­ple, but with an increase in hack­ing, the CPS may have to exam­ine whether pre­ven­tion orders could be fur­ther imposed to com­bat hi-tech crimes.

Many entre­pre­neurs, secretly or oth­er­wise, wish to become ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists (VC) because it’s con­sid­ered a stim­u­lat­ing job. Most VCs con­trol sub­stan­tial amounts of money and have great auton­omy about how they invest it. They may not be tied down to a nine-to-five job, and the best part is they get to bestow finan­cial gifts on wor­thy entre­pre­neurs. Suc­cess­ful ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists such as Wes Edens and oth­ers can share in the suc­cess of many dif­fer­ent finan­cial endeavors.

What is a Ven­ture Capitalist?

A VC is a pri­vate investor who pro­vides the money to busi­ness ven­tures that he or she believes have great poten­tial to make a profit. In some cases, they demand 50 per­cent or more own­er­ship, so they can exer­cise con­trol of the com­pany. This is to off­set any risk they may face. They may also pro­vide man­age­ment exper­tise and an open­ing into the indus­try with busi­ness con­nec­tions the com­pany would oth­er­wise not had. Ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists plan to bring the com­pany to its ini­tial pub­lic offer­ing (IPO), so the VC can sell his or her shares at a huge profit and get out of the company.

How to Become a Ven­ture Capitalist

To become a VC, it’s impor­tant to have the oper­a­tional expe­ri­ence required to take a com­pany from its start-up phase through to the point where it has its first IPO. Today, many VCs are for­mer entre­pre­neurs who are some­times involved in many start-ups. Called ser­ial entre­pre­neurs, they have the expe­ri­ence and exper­tise to assess the company’s value propo­si­tion and the acces­si­bil­ity and size of the company’s mar­ket opportunity.

A ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist must have:

  • Edu­ca­tion — VCs must have an under­stand­ing of ele­men­tary busi­ness skills. They will need to judge if a com­pany is a fruit­ful oppor­tu­nity. This means they need knowl­edge of the basics of account­ing, busi­ness plans and risk management.
  • Expe­ri­ence — VCs also need a favor­able resume that shows real time expe­ri­ence work­ing with start-ups.
  • Mak­ing money — VCs must know how to make money. Usu­ally through man­age­ment fees and return on investment.
  • Net­work­ing — VCs need to have a net­work of con­tacts with other VCs. This may take time, but is essen­tial, and the VC will grad­u­ally build up a pro­duc­tive net­work of associates.

The Advan­tages of Ven­ture Cap­i­tal­ist Financing

The main advan­tage of ven­ture cap­i­tal is the financ­ing that allows the com­pany to expand. The com­pany may not be able to get this kind of money from a bank loan or other source. This is espe­cially impor­tant for start-ups because they don’t have a his­tory of suc­cess, but do have a lot of up-front expenses. Because they believe in the pos­si­ble suc­cess of the com­pany, ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists also shoul­der a lot if the company’s oblig­a­tions and risks, unlike a bank loan.

Along with the money, VCs give finan­cial and indus­try advice and exper­tise. In many cases, the VC is appointed as a mem­ber of the company’s board, so the VC firm has inti­mate involve­ment in the work­ings of the company.

Loss of con­trol of the com­pany is per­ceived as the great­est dis­ad­van­tage of ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist financ­ing. The VC will have restric­tions and stip­u­la­tions about the company’s man­age­ment team, salaries and other things. The VC will con­stantly scru­ti­nize all of the busi­ness oper­a­tions. These over­sights may vary depend­ing on the terms of the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist deal. How­ever, some peo­ple con­sider the so-called dis­ad­van­tages as just another advantage.

Choos­ing where to go to uni­ver­sity for your under­grad­u­ate degree is a stress­ful deci­sion to have to make, with many fac­tors to con­sider. There is the pres­tige of the insti­tu­tion, the fac­ulty in your field of choice, the cost of tuition and liv­ing, and a whole host of other fac­tors that seem end­less. But really, the most impor­tant part of your edu­ca­tion is to set you up for a career where you can pros­per in the future. So a university’s intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties should be a big fac­tor when decid­ing what school you will attend. Here are some of the main rea­sons why.

Intern­ships pro­vide real world experience


What stu­dents will learn while study­ing at uni­ver­sity will be rel­a­tively con­sis­tent from one insti­tu­tion to another, so one of the things that sep­a­rates one job can­di­date from another is a resume that con­tains applic­a­ble real-world work expe­ri­ence. If you’ve already worked within the indus­try that you’re apply­ing for then you will have a stream­lined path to under­stand­ing how your poten­tial employ­ing com­pany func­tions, and the things you will need to do to help their busi­ness con­tinue to grow. This, obvi­ously, is some­thing all employ­ers look for in candidates.

A chance to earn money while studying

It can be dif­fi­cult to sup­port your­self while study­ing, and although typ­i­cal stu­dent jobs like work­ing in a restau­rant or bar will pay the bills, there is lit­tle career moti­va­tion for tak­ing these jobs. A pay­ing intern­ship is a great way to work a job that inter­ests you and will help you out financially.

A foot in the door abroad

For stu­dents who are study­ing abroad , work­ing an intern­ship can give you the oppor­tu­nity to con­tinue work­ing abroad fol­low­ing your grad­u­a­tion. These types of for­eign jobs can be dif­fi­cult to get if you do not have a his­tory with the employer, but it is quite com­mon for com­pa­nies across all indus­tries to hire their interns on a full-time basis once they’ve obtained their under­grad­u­ate degrees.


In this glob­al­ized econ­omy, net­work­ing is one of the most impor­tant ways to open doors for the future, and an intern­ship will allow you to make pro­fes­sional con­nec­tions at a very young age. The more con­nec­tions you make, the bet­ter chance you have of secur­ing a job in the future.


So if you’re fret­ting on how to make the deci­sion of what uni­ver­sity to attend, then per­haps the fac­tor you’ve been for­get­ting to look at are their intern­ship opportunities.

Images by COD News­room and Adam Grabek used under the Cre­ative Com­mons License.

The fol­low­ing is from Crys­tal Stem­berger at Bud­get­ing in the Fun Stuff. She’s been blog­ging for more than 5 years and is now a pro­fes­sional pet sit­ter by day and a per­sonal finance super geek by night.

I’m 32 years old and have been the pri­mary dri­ver for 4 cars over the last 13 years. Here are the lessons I picked up over those years.

The 1998 Mazda Protégé

My first car was a 1998 Mazda Pro­tégé that was repos­sessed and bought from the bank. It leaked a quart of oil every week or two, some­times just turned off at stop signs and traf­fic lights even though it was an auto­matic, and it didn’t have a work­ing air con­di­tioner (in Hous­ton, TX…that stinks).

My par­ents bought it for me in 2001 for less than $2000 and I put $1500 into new engine parts. The car insur­ance pre­mium in it stunk because I was young, the car had bad rat­ings, and I didn’t shop around. I should have looked at places like, Geico, or Pro­gres­sive to help find a way more afford­able price. I ended up sell­ing it 2 years later in 2003 for $1400 since it just wasn’t worth keep­ing. It had stopped pass­ing inspections.

First Les­son Learned — Just because it’s inex­pen­sive doesn’t mean it is a good deal.

The 2003 Chevro­let Cavalier

My sec­ond car was my parent’s brand new, stan­dard trans­mis­sion 2003 Chevro­let Cav­a­lier. They bought it for less than $9000 in cash. I used it for the last two years of col­lege. It drove like a dream and didn’t have any issues. It ended up being in the fam­ily for 11 years before being totaled by a crappy Austin, TX dri­ver that hit my lit­tle sister.

Sec­ond Les­son Learned — I pre­fer to buy new and stay on top of basic main­te­nance since it means way less trips to the mechanic. For me, it ends up cost­ing about the same or less per year over buy­ing used IF you keep it for as long as possible.

The 2005 Chevro­let Aveo

The first car I really bought was right after col­lege. It was a brand new, 2005 Chevy Aveo. I bought it for $11,800 through 5 year financ­ing but I paid it off in 2 years. It had a ton of lit­tle prob­lems since it was cheaply made. It was def­i­nitely not as great as the Cav­a­lier. I drove it less than 65,000 miles in 9 years, and sold it in 2014 for $3800. It lasted only because I barely drove any­where. I vowed never to give Chevy my money again.

Third Les­son Learned — Even buy­ing new does not guar­an­tee a per­fect expe­ri­ence. Qual­ity matters…I seemed to have for­got­ten my first lesson…

The 2013 Honda Fit

In early 2014, I sold my Aveo and bought a brand new 2013 Honda Fit. It was $16,300 drive out with 0.9% financ­ing for 5 years. So, it’ll cost a grand total of $16,600 over 5 years plus its basic main­te­nance. In the last year, I’ve already dri­ven 17,000 miles. And all I’ve need to do it replace two tires (I ran into a curb and the dealer tires stunk) and I’ve got­ten two oil changes. Over­all, it’s still new so it’s still dri­ving awe­some as expected.

No les­son learned yet, but I’m hop­ing to show that buy­ing qual­ity is worth it over­all. Fin­gers crossed!

How many cars have you owned? What have you learned over the years?

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