Learning About Cybersecurity
Take a minute to think about just how much of your day-to-day life is lived and documented online—have you shared pictures, messages, or emails with friends and family? Do you submit school assignments online? How many of you have used online banking? How often do you shop online?
Every day, we share our personal information online. Think about all of the other sensitive information on the internet, such as healthcare data or confidential government records. This globally connected network we call the internet is a gold mine of data, devices, and information that is available for hackers to, steal, attack, and exploit. Cybersecurity is the first line of defense against these digital attacks and without a doubt, an essential part of every organization across the globe.
So, what is cybersecurity? According to Cisco, Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are called “cyberattacks” and are typically aimed at gaining access to, changing, or destroying personal or sensitive information. The first step in understanding cybersecurity is becoming aware of the many ways in which one may be vulnerable to security breaches or attacks. For example:
- Theft or loss of devices
- Insecure storage of personal information
- Hacked passwords
- Missed software updates
- Installing risky software
- Improper disposal of devices and data
- Compromised public or shared devices
What’s so important about teaching cybersecurity in school?
Kids nowadays have access to a plethora of devices such as cell phones, tablets, computers, and gaming systems that all have access to the internet. Although kids don’t necessarily generate sensitive personal or financial data that’s at risk of being stolen or hacked via the internet, they can still become a target for cyber predators or cyberbullying. It’s important for kids to understand how to use the internet respectfully and responsibly, which is a first step in combating cybersecurity threats. Students need to understand how to protect their identities online, the risks they face when compromised, and what to do when they encounter attacks or breaches. Teaching cybersecurity in schools is an ideal place for kids to learn how to protect their digital lives.
Additionally, the need for cybersecurity professionals has never been greater! Millions of job openings in cybersecurity remain unfilled, and with the gap growing each year, it creates a significant opportunity for today’s students. Pointful Education partners with schools and districts to offer a Cybersecurity course that provides students with a strong foundation of cybersecurity knowledge for this rapidly evolving career field.