10 April 2017
Kids and cyber security. We don’t usually think of the two together, but with the potential of a future skills shortage in this area, and the danger of the damage that hackers could inflict on our infrastructure, there’s a growing call for children to be given cyber security training.
With children being tech-aware from as young as 2 years old, they need to be taught about the potential perils of sharing information online and how to stay safe. The hope is that this engagement with ‘cyber ethics’ at such a young age will spark an interest in developing a future career in cyber security and avert a skills crisis.
“There is a need to ensure that from a societal and personal perspective, we teach people how to be more security-aware in everything they do.” Ben Halpert, Savvy Cyber Kids
The Cyber Security Challenge Schools programme is just one example of an initiative intended to raise awareness of the exciting career paths available in cyber security, focussing on engaging secondary school pupils with the use of innovative tools and scenarios to develop the kind of practical skills that are demanded by industry. Led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the scheme is aimed at 14-18 year olds, with the aim of training at least 5,700 teenagers by 2021.
“This forward-thinking programme will see thousands of the best and brightest young minds given the opportunity to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies.” Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture
Perhaps one particular child genius is already headed for a career in cyber security. Nine year old Reuben Paul, of Harmony School of Science in Austin, Texas caused a media buzz when at such a young age he demonstrated how hackers could potentially steal contacts, call logs and messages from an Android smartphone, all within the space of just 15 minutes. Already a renowned ethical hacker and CEO of Prudent Games, which aims to teach people about security threats through educational apps, Reuben told Fox News, “If a child can do it then a regular hacker can do it… so I just want everyone to be aware [and to] be more careful when you download games and stuff like that.”
Knowledge is key when it comes to cyber security, and not just for the kids. Responsible computer recycling is vital, if you want to keep your organisational secrets to yourself and your clients’ data secure. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration, to ensure ultimate data security. It’s also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.