The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released its new CyberSprinters online game to help primary schools, clubs and other youth groups teach children about cybersecurity.
CyberSprinters is a free interactive game, developed as a part of GCHQ, aiming to get children aged 7 to 11 interested in protecting themselves online.
The game sees players become a ‘cybersprinter,’ racing against its own depleting battery power. Users can win battery power by correctly answering questions about cybersecurity but face losing it if they bump into ‘cyber villains’.
CyberSprinters comes as part of a pack of educational resources which illustrate what good cybersecurity practice looks like, from creating strong passwords to being vigilant about receiving messages from unknown senders.
Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society Engagement, believes that it is important for children to learn about cybersecurity early in an increasingly digital world.
“Our CyberSprinters game offers a fun, free, interactive way for children to understand how to make good choices to protect themselves, their devices and any online accounts,” Lyons said.
“We encourage those working in education to make use of the new resources to help us teach the next generation how to stay safe from cyber threats.”
CyberSprinters is designed to make learning about cybersecurity fun and interactive at a time when children might begin to seek more independence online.
The resources’ content is based around the expert cybersecurity advice provided by the cross-governmental Cyber Aware campaign, which helps people protect themselves online from the most common cyber threats.
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Cybersecurity has become a major issue for children, especially during the coronavirus lockdown where millions of kids had to move learning to a home setting.
The NCSC warned in March that the education sector in the UK is under an increasing number of cyber-attacks. The Harris Federation, which runs 50 primary and secondary academies in and around London, was hit with a major attack that affected 37,000 pupils. The organisation said that it was “at least” the fourth multi-academy trust to have been targeted in March.
In a speech in late March, NCSC CEO Lindy Cameron said that the current cybersecurity landscape in the UK “reflects huge progress and relative strength – but it is not a position we can be complacent about”.
The resources that come with CyberSprinters support schools across the UK by “linking in with key learning objectives” and have been developed for use in formal settings such as classrooms as well as in non-formal settings such as by clubs and youth organisations.
More information about top tips to defend against cyber threats can be found at www.cyberaware.gov.uk