Government security education programme to target children and 'risky men'

Schoolboy errors in Hampshire school hack attack, 20,000 at risk
Schoolboy errors in Hampshire school hack attack, 20,000 at risk

The government is to target children and ‘risky men' in an effort to educate them about online security.

Planning a campaign to encourage better online security, the government will aim to get messages on cyber security into primary and secondary schools, arguing that children cannot be too young to learn how to protect themselves when using the web.

According to a report by the Guardian, children as young as three or four are going online, so educating on issues such as managing your online identity and not posting inappropriate details online will be covered.

There was also a need to educate those deemed to be ‘risky men', who use the internet frequently and who think that they are capable of managing the risk.

An official said that its big goal for the next 12 months is to get somewhere transformative in terms of business and public understanding of this issue.

Chloe Smith, parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office, who is spearheading the government campaign, said that she was not sure whether it will be possible to talk about being invulnerable, but it is possible to talk about being well prepared for incidents, for being well skilled across society and for government and industry and academia working together to take it seriously.

“Citizens having to be aware just as much as government employees and private-sector leaders. Tackling these skills in the classroom is the place this needs to be in the future. We need to be working at all levels of society. I am passionate about young people being prepared for the [cyber] world,” she said.

“When we use the term cyber, there is a wealth of opportunity as well as threat. There are massive benefits of living in a networked world. But it has its dark side. The truth is that we have to work in partnership with people in every walk of life to make cyber security a success.

"It means a 13-year-old using Facebook for the first time does so safely. It means a twenty-something new employee in a firm knowing how to use the firm's networks safely. It means a person doing their Christmas shopping online … safely, and it means that a silver surfer has to be supported to use it safely. The challenge of raising awareness is absolutely key and a big part of the work.”

Sign up to our newsletters