Cyber predation on kids is so common these days that preparing the young ones to deal with it, is definitely the number 1 priority for both schools and authorities. While we focus on teaching students about computer and its advantages, we somehow skip teaching them all the harms that can be caused by the exposure and put them on the radar of potential predators unarmed and unprepared. Cybercrime is a more significant threat than regular crimes like burglary and thefts as it has given them unrestricted access in our lives without even being physically present.
Why should we teach Cyber Security?
• Education sector especially Schools house very sensitive and highly priced information including bank account details of both its staff and its students.
• It is said that “once it is out on the internet there is no coming back”, so that brings up the need to be cautious to take care of what we put out there.
• Children born right into this digital age have not known a world without internet, and thus exposure to the internet is inevitable, right from infants and toddlers, be it via gaming or education purposes like doing projects or handling their social media accounts.
• To curb Cyber Bullying is another critical reason to take this initiative. In recent years there have been instances where students have taken extreme steps as a result of it
• School Staff and teachers sometimes find it difficult to understand and later deal with such cyber threats.
How to teach the basics of cyber security?
• Address the skill shortage in this field
It is definitely the need of the hour, and it would solve dual purpose if teachers are trained by professionals to counter these threats. They would not only help keep school records safe but also prepare students in dealing it.
• Start early
Generally, students are introduced to cyber security in the middle school age. The practical approach would be to educate them much earlier so they can distinguish between the good and bad on the internet.
• Behave responsibly online
Students should be briefed to be careful when using the internet. They should be aware of the possible harms that may come their way on submitting their personal information and their every single move on social media sites and gaming sites etc.
Apart from this, their future employer may be wrongly influenced on finding something embarrassing about them when they try to find work. Hence they should try to avoid posting anything they wish not to be known for and shall not cause harm to others reputation as well.
• Risky tech features
GPS and location services have reportedly been used in the majority of crimes related to children when the pinpoint location of the victim was available to the culprit. Kids should be taught how to use these technologies without being in harm’s way.
• Possible career option
This is a booming sector and children should be shown the benefits of choosing it as a career option.
• Should not panic
Most importantly the students should be instructed not to feel scared if fall victim to any unpleasant incidence of cybercrime. They should reach out to their parents and school authorities so that necessary steps shall be taken.
Karen Minton is a creative person who has been writing blogs and articles about cybersecurity. She writes about the latest updates regarding mcafee.com/activate and how it can improve the work experience of users. Her articles have been published in many popular e-magazines, blogs, and websites.