Definition: What is cyber safety?
Cyber safety is about being secure online. It is the practice of protecting against and preventing cyber threats and risks from infiltrating personal and professional systems through tech devices. Because we’re becoming more digitally dependent in various aspects of our lives, from banking to shopping to entertainment, internet safety measures also span across these aspects accordingly.
Topics within internet safety includes password protection, antivirus, data privacy, phishing attacks, cyberbullying, fake news, and grooming. Each topic can be expanded into endless conversation as they are extremely relevant to our wellbeing today.
Why is cyber safety important?
Cyber safety is an extremely important subject to teach to young kids, students, adults, and the elderly. Poor cyber hygiene can leave individuals at high risks of phishing attacks, online scams, dangerous grooming, and destructive behaviours. There are many malicious actors in the dark corners of the internet that most people aren’t aware of, until something terrible happens to them or someone close to them.
It is crucial to start teaching cyber safety at a young age, especially with more schools implementing “Bring Your Own Device” schemes. Good internet safety education should look to teach them about online identities and digital footprints, while instilling the importance of a long and strong password.
With teens, the main concerns lie with cyberbullying and grooming within online games, social media, and chat rooms. Many apps and websites require their users to be at a minimum age of 13; however, the arbitrary age has also been found to be the most vulnerable age where young boys and girls are preyed upon. If parents aren’t careful, their teens may be exposed to all sorts of online predators lurking in gaming chat rooms and social media. Check out our list of parental controls and tips for websites and apps here. Strong cyber safety awareness is crucial to teach at this age where they are just being introduced to strangers and social media, where poor knowledge can expose them to a world of danger.
Cyberlite Books’ Ready, Get Set, Connect! is a great teaching resource for families and kids to learn about cyber safety in an engaging and fun way. The book is written in a way that breaks down complex topics in a way that’s easy to understand, so subjects like cyberbullying and grooming become accessible information that kids can digest smoothly.
The biggest cyber threats are online scams, data and privacy breaches, and viral attacks in the case of working adults and the elderly. Today, phishers have become very sophisticated in their approach, to the point where it’s impossible to distinguish them from real emails and messages without proper cyber training. he retired population are also core victims of phishing scams as they find themselves out of large sums of money when it’s too late. Data and privacy breaches are mainly targeted at large organizations, where individuals’ private information is stored such as credit card details, identification numbers, medical records, etc. Members of such organizations are often the target of such cyber crimes, as the criminals aim to gain access through side and back doors. Viral attacks through malware, adware, and other forms of virus are also commonplace cyber crimes that occur because of poor internet safety training and cyber hygiene.
Significant losses of money, affected mental health, identity theft, and impacted reputations are only some of the devastating repercussions from the lack of cyber safety knowledge. Equip yourself and your family with cyber safety tools and tips immediately to protect your digital activities.
Cyber Safety Activities
Here are some activities and tips you can do to engage in digital literacy education:
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Ready, Get Set, Connect! Workbook