Teaching kids cybersecurity

Internet Safety is one of the biggest concerns of every parent. Technology has changed the landscape of every household and with mobile ownership starting from as young as 5-6 years, education about mobile usage is growing in importance.  We need to make sure that our children are safe internet users and we need to do it today!

The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report conducted in 2016 included questions about children’s internet behaviour.  It seems that children are most susceptible to online scams such as phishing messages, thinking that they are legitimate. Children do not know how to identify trusted websites and are quick to divulge sensitive information such as their user identities and passwords.


Parents are always in the search for helpful resources to help them to educate children about the Internet. One such resource can be found on the Go Safe Online website. Visitors to this page will find simple tips for students, parents and kids to help one stay protected on the Internet.

One of the useful tools at the Go Safe Online website is their free comic Cyber Safety. Download the comic and kids will be able to follow the adventures of Crypto and Synthia, the defenders of cyber spaceAt the end of each issue, there are also activities to further enhance the reader’s knowledge of cyber security. For the latest updates, users can join the Go Safe Online FB page.

Cybersecurity will continue to grow in importance in the days to come. Reason being is that most parents are guilty of using our tablets and mobiles as babysitting devices. Sitting down at important meetings with our friends, we have all passed our mobile devices to our kids, in order to distract them for an hour or two. Yes! We have all been there, done that and are guilty as charged…

Naturally, this “freedom” can become quite costly as kids can stumble onto the wrong websites and obtain undesirable information which isn’t age-appropriate. Although we can always limit access to restricted sites and turn on child-safe filters, no system is fool-proof. Ultimately, we need to educate our children and make them “Smart” users when it comes to technology. That is why cyber education is not a one-off lesson, but a continual education process, as technology is always changing and we need to be kept updated with the latest technological trends and scams.

Recently, I was glad to be able to witness the launch of the “Live Savvy with Cybersecurity” awareness campaign and roadshow at Toa Payoh Hub. Organised by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, the campaign aims to demonstrate that cybersecurity is not technical nor difficult to apply. Targeted at all people of all walks of life, the roadshow uses fun interactive booths to bring visitors on an experiential journey into cyber education.

If you are wondering how the roadshow carnival works, registrants are given a journey card which will take them on a journey to 6 zones. For example, Zone 1 will take participants to the SavvyCheck station, where once 3 questions on cybersecurity are answered correctly, the vending machine dispenses a prize.

As each zone presents a different challenge, participants will learn how to spot bogus sites, increase their awareness of the personal data protection act, have a shoot-out carnival style or just take a fun photo! Check out the labyrinth of activity booths in the photos below:


The game booths were well received and as the minutes went by, the queues became longer! Together with incentives at the end of a “Sure-Win” journey, everyone was keen to embark on the journey. I reckon that there is no better way to learn, than by learning through play! 🙂  

As cybersecurity is broken into simplified easy-to-adopt steps, it is a win-win scenario that will help a more savvy generation emerge from the efforts of cyber education. To keep yourself up to date with cyber security, subscribe to the Go Safe Online Facebook Page. 

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