It is no secret that cybercrime is on the rise and that general awareness needs to be raised as to how to avoid being the victim of the many innovative types of online criminality. Young people, in particular, need to be educated in relation to the dangers, as they are particularly vulnerable. Below are 5 of the best ways to educate young people with regard to online safety. It is the duty of educators to inform students of the dangers of online activity given how ubiquitous digital technology is becoming.
#1 – The Mind of a Cyber Criminal
The best way to educate young people on cybercrime is to take them through some real-life events and scenarios. Social engineering is the primary method of criminally acquiring data. Young people should review multiple instances of Ponzi Schemes and financial scams to see how these take place and observe how cybercriminals think.
While the crimes have gone online, the methods of techniques are still largely the same, and there are similarities across industries. Young people are often naive, and should, therefore, be exposed to these scenarios in theoretical practice in order to avoid a real-life event.
#2 – Best Online Practices
If teaching a group of young people, it is best to get them to deploy the best security practices in real-time on their devices. The best practices in terms of online security include a password manager, two-factor authentication (2FA), and a high-quality antivirus protection program. These three solutions are the best applications for device protection.
People who deploy these three techniques are incredibly well protected, though all devices are prone to basic errors such as leaving a device unlocked or writing a password down on a sheet of paper. Basic user error is still the major point of failure despite multiple awareness campaigns. For best results get the students the download the applications during the class or seminar, as practice is far superior to theory.
#3 – Scare Them
Most young people are unaware of the nature and extent of cybercrime. But the online world is just not safe. Cameras and microphones on various devices are quite easy to hack, FaceBook and other online media platforms readily sell data, everybody’s credit card and social security numbers have already been compromised due to multiple attacks on centralized agencies, and Wikileaks has demonstrated many more outrageous scandals.
Additionally, the NSA wiretapping fiasco outlined how the NSA, colluding with AT&T, has been listening in on Skype calls and email messages for regular civilians. These are real events that frequently take place. Without an antivirus program or encrypted messaging system, the reality is that your data is quite likely compromised already.
#4 – Highlight the Benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a new form of database system where the information is stored securely, immutably, and privately. DLT-based applications will remove online corruption to a large extent. For example, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will have DLT equivalents where data is not taken and sold to third parties. Any service that is underpinned with DLT is typically censorship resistant and much more resilient to hacks from criminals. DLT applications are coming out that will enable customers to reclaim and monetize their own information.
#5 – Cultivate Minimalism and Natural Living
The more devices and free applications downloaded, the greater the potential to attract viruses and cybercriminals. A healthy level of detachment from multiple devices and accounts can assist from being the victim on an online scam. There are also numerous health effects associated with WiFi and staring at computer screens, and this will get worse as WiFi gets more powerful and screens start proliferating everywhere. Young people should be encouraged to cut down on screen time where possible and get some sunshine instead.