News flash, cybersecurity is pretty important, and the Internet is chock-full of threats that you need to take seriously. However, with today’s youth practically growing up connected to the Internet, it becomes even more important than ever to ensure that they are aware of cybersecurity best practices early in their lives. To this end, Google has created a platform called the Be Internet Awesome initiative.
What Does “Be Internet Awesome” Mean?
This initiative is designed to help educate kids on safe Internet browsing practices. According to the website, they want kids to be “prepared to make smart decisions.” The goal of this initiative is to teach kids about digital citizenship, or rather, the use of technology that is both responsible and empowering, in hopes that they can more securely work, play, and live in today’s online-centric world.
It’s a good idea, especially since security has become so front-and-center in today’s world. In fact, cybersecurity has become a central challenge for so many users, and discussing it without making it feel like a task can be troublesome at best. By reframing what it means to be secure in today’s digital landscape, the adoption of these best practices can be made much easier.
Google has made an effort to do so by creating the Be Internet Awesome curriculum, in partnership with iKeepSafe, ConnectSafely, and the Family Online Safety Institute.
How Does “Be Internet Awesome” Work?
Be Internet Awesome provides a framework called “The Internet Code of Awesome,” or “the fundamentals” of Internet security. These are as follows:
- Share with Care, which teaches children to think through what kind of things they are posting in terms of privacy and principle.
- Don’t Fall for Fake, which educates kids how to spot scam attempts and phishing lures.
- Secure Your Secrets, which goes over the password best practices that we’ve often preached.
- It’s Cool to Be Kind, which encourages a more positive Internet experience through the application of “treat others as you want to be treated.”
- When in Doubt, Talk It Out, which establishes that the adults in their life are there to help them work through things they may stumble across despite these practices.
By following these five guidelines, kids should (at least in theory) have a better and safer Internet experience throughout their lives. There are various tools and resources made available by the program, too.
It’s been proven time and again that gamification works, and Google wants to use these practices to reinforce lessons learned through its initiative. Interland is a quiz-style adventure that allows users to progress through animated landscapes by picking the right answers to multiple-choice questions. There are also timed countdowns from time to time. By the end of the adventure, the user learns important vocabulary words and can download certificates of completion. There is no login required here, and as such, the process can be repeated as often as needed to impart the knowledge within.
Furthermore, this initiative also has a downloadable curriculum that can be used by educators. This curriculum includes all kinds of activities and resources that can be used to reinforce fundamentals. It’s built to be used by kids between second and sixth grade, but educators can of course adjust the curriculum based on their target audience. These might be designed for use by educators, but they could be useful for parents or guardians to help foster important online behaviors.
With more ideas and opportunities like Be Internet Awesome, perhaps the next generation of online users will be able to learn important skills that can carry them throughout their lives in the ever-changing online environment. If you are interested in learning more about this idea, visit their website at beinginternetawesome.withgoogle.com to see what it has to offer.
As for your business, we can help with that! To get started, contact Nexela at (215) 525-3223.