Submitted by Natalie Buike
We took a couple of our girls to a park to learn all about cybersecurity. The adults (senders) put together a message on cards that were sent down through the network (long strings of yarn) to each computer (each girl). Once the girls received the message, they had to send it on to the receiver (tree). Once the message made it to the receiver, we had the girls unscramble the message and put it all together. While doing the activity, we explained to the girls how the process works through a real network, just like how a train travels and makes several stops until it stops at its final destination. The parents also explained to the girls how important it is to be as safe as possible with what is sent through email, text, and other social media sites because you never know what information will stop at a computer that can be or has been compromised.
Some of the lessons our girls learned from this activity was that cybersecurity affects just more than a home computer. It is affects phones, tablets, and any other tech devices that can be connected to a network. One of the biggest lessons our girls realized through this is that nothing is really ever safe and that information can always have the potential to be compromised or stolen. The parents really worked on explaining to them that all of the modern day apps like Snapchat and Facebook are not safe and that whatever is posted will always be out there. At the age of 10, I would say that they now have a better understanding on the importance of doing their best to keep their information safe and to always be cautious about what is shared through email, text, social media, apps, etc.