Since 2004, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) has been observed each October in The United States of America, and seeks to encourage “vigilance and protection by all computer users". With big data-breaches and leaks making headlines every day, it has never been more important to redouble our efforts to keep our personal information safe online.
More young children are using the internet every year. In 2013, the non-profit research group Child Trends reported that "almost six out of ten children, ages 3 to 17 (57 %), used the Internet at home, nearly six times as many as in 1997 (11 %)" and that percentage increases with age. Whether children are using the internet to play games, interact on social media, or complete their homework assignments, it is important to discuss cyber security early and often throughout their lives.
Keeping children safe online is of vital importance to our communities, and the future of cyber security. PBS Learning Media has a library of resources available for parents and educators to use when teaching kids about online safety, including NOVA lesson plans and interviews with the experts. Students can learn on their own with fun videos, games and quizzes with Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius! Ruff also has a guide for parents on everything from online ads to texting to long-distance love! The Department of Homeland Security also has toolkits available for students, parents, and educators that provides important information and age-appropriate resources to help develop a strong cyber security plan at home and at work.