Happy Month of June!
In this month’s newsletter, we will discuss HOW you can teach cyber-security to your kids.
Why Teach Your Kids Cyber Security?
Cyber security is one of the best careers you can ever get into… but then again, you could say that I am a little biased on the subject 🙂
But seriously, there are so many reasons why it would be a great idea to teach Cyber-Security to your children. Let’s discuss two of them:
Reason #1 – Job Security
Information technology is here to stay. We are inundated with new gadgets and expanding capabilities of the devices we use . Because technology changes so frequently, there’s always a new cyber-security challenge on the horizon. This means cyber-security jobs will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future. However, according to SANS institute, 72% of parents have never considered cyber security as a future career for their children. I am surprised by this number because it is contributing to the skill gap in the cyber-security industry. Parents in general don’t know enough about the benefits of cyber security to both the future of their children and society.
Reason #2 – Security Awareness
Kids should start learning cyber security as they will become knowledgeable on how to protect their digital information. According to Experian, more and more children are becoming targets of cyber-attacks inclusive of identity theft or fraud before turning 18. Lets be honest, most parents today would buy their child an iPhone without making their child consciously aware of how to secure their private information.
Strategies on Teaching Cyber Security to your Child or Teen
Before I discuss where you can go to teach cyber-security to kids, you first need to understand and accept one important thing: You WILL need to set aside some time to sit with your kids and work with them on their lesson plan. I would estimate you budget approximately 4-5 hours per week. Most children need direction and leadership, otherwise your attempt to expose them to the field will more than likely become unsuccessful.
Some of you are probably thinking:
“But I don’t know much about IT talk much less cyber-security” or “How can I teach them something I have no clue about”.
Don’t be intimidated by this notion. There are resources on the internet that will provide you with content for your child to learn. If you’re not interested in learning cyber-security for yourself, then the focus of the time you invest should be to help keep your child focused. Keep them encouraged and hold them accountable to a schedule. In addition, this is your chance to learn with your kids, create a new way to bond and both of you can develop a new skill together. If your child catches on to concepts faster than you, then have them teach you some things. People (including children) become better at things when they teach others.
Option 1- Follow Me on My Beta Experiment
Before writing this newsletter, I researched the web for cyber-security curriculums that cater to children. I found a LOT of materials that teach coding; however, I did not find much on cyber-security. And to be honest, the ones that I found, I didn’t feel they were technical enough. They scratch the surface on security awareness but did not go into depth on pen-testing, security engineering or cyber security policy.
Then one of my bright idea light bulb went off in my head. My website, pjcourses.com, was designed to cater to beginners and have trained thousands of adults on career related cyber security concepts. What if I can teach the same to children? So I made an offer to teach and 3 kids accepted (2 of them 11 years old and 1 of them 17)… Call me crazy, but I think they could learn just as much as adults can. After all, our children were born into technology and use it more than most adults do.
I will be blogging about our experience progress on https://pjcourses.com/cyberkids. Hopefully you and your kids can join us on the journey. Let’s see if we can really turn them into little hackers.
Option 2: Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks is an award winning cyber security company. They are helping to educate children about the importance of cyber security. Their interactive animated videos makes it interesting to learn. The service is free and is a great option to give your children exposure to the basics of cyber-security.
Option 3: CyberSchool
Cyber School is an online education institution for school students around the world. It is completely free to attend and was developed by the Academy of Cyber Security. According to their website, the school will only run until public schools re-open.
Option 4: Cyber-Security Best Practice for Kids – Udemy
This is a free course on Udemy that teaches kids on how to stay safe online and it’s a really good course with 1hr 22min of free on-demand video.
You’ll notice options #2-4 are foundational and they should encourage a cyber-security culture in your household. Option 1 (my beta experiment), will apply more career specific learning and my theory is if we do it correctly, children can learn cyber-security just as well as adults. Whichever way you decide to embark on this journey with your kids, it will be important for you to apply effective teaching techniques. Below are some takeaway points that I’ve learned from research:
- Be a Model: Lead by example by practicing safe cyber security habits
- Learn in layers. Each learning platform in the options I have provided have recorded videos for your kids to watch. I recommend they learn each video by following three simple steps:
- step 1 – Watch the video for understanding (do not take notes, just focus on understanding)
- step 2 – Watch the video again and this time take notes
- step 3 – Complete the quiz/lab using your notes (update the notes as necessary)
- Give praises and encouragement/ Avoid too many negative feedback
- Remember that behavior might get worse before it improves. Stay consistent in your leadership and discipline.
I will be bogging on the progress of my beta experiment (((insert evil laugh here))))
If you would like to follow us and get some lesson learned information, you can visit pjcourses.com/cyberkids
SECURITY ANALYST OF THE MONTH: ZARINA!
Congrats to our security analyst of the month: Zarina!
Zarina is one of a kind when it comes to excellence in cyber-security. Her passion for the field is incredible and her work ethics is unmatched…
Zarina manages our client AD server and deployed GP settings to ensure compliance. She is the architect for our clients role based access control matrix, drafts the Access Control Policy, Procedure and Rules of Behavior and oh…I forgot to mention, she did all this while completing security assessments.
If you’ve done this before you know it’s not something you google search and complete overnight. They require careful planning, technical expertise and coordination with IT and business leaders.
Zarina, at the horizon of your information security career you’re already accomplishing many great things. You are CEH certified and your sec+ cert is loading. I can’t wait to see how bright you’re going to shine throughout your career. You’re always professional and work well with everyone. In fact you are usually the motivating force behind any team you’re on. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for our company!
Cheers to your continued success!
- Next Certification Camp Schedule:
SEC+ – July 8th – Aug 2
CEH – July 12 – Aug 6
CISSP – July 20th – Sept 3rd
- Help Wanted:
Marketing Specialist: We are looking for some to help us host our corporate network night. If you are an outgoing person that love to create and coordinate events, this could be a great opportunity for you. The network night will occur on the second Thursday of every month.
- Coming Soon!
- Splunk App for Windows Infrastructure:
This course will teach students how to configure the SPLUNK-app for windows infrastructure. This is an intuitive tool that will provide every security analyst with the visibility they need for their network.
- PJ Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program:
PJ Pros will soon release a comprehensive security awareness training course very soon. This will be a free course for employers to use to train their staff and meet their annual security awareness training requirements.
- Splunk App for Windows Infrastructure: