Kaspersky and partners: Education is key to building Cyber Resilience for kids in Singapore
Study found that Singaporean youths do not perceive themselves as vulnerable to being hacked and downplays consequence of being hacked
Global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky, with Centre for Cybersecurity, a Singapore-based cybersecurity training organization and The HEAD Foundation, an international charitable organization that does philanthropic work in education discussed how a collaborative and proactive approach to online safety and security can benefit children in the digital environment.
A study was conducted amongst 255 Singaporean students from 13 Secondary Schools, which uncovered that Singaporean youths do not perceive themselves as vulnerable to being hacked and downplays consequence of being hacked.
Following the study, the panel, comprising Noushin Shabab, Senior Security Researcher in the Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky, Ethan Seow, CEO at Centre for Cybersecurity and Dr Jiow Hee Jhee, Associate Professor & Programme Leader at the Singapore Institute of Technology explored in depth how cyber resilience through education can help increase awareness of the reality and dangers of cyber threats among children and young people. This comes as every student currently in their formative education years are now considered to be a digital native.
Dr Jiow shared findings of his research on what motivates cyber resilience guided by the Protection Motivation Theory against the context of the motivation behind choosing strong passwords. His research, conducted with a pool of 255 students across 13 Secondary Schools yielded the finding that whilst the youth generally had favorable coping appraisal, they had less than favorable threat appraisal. Which meant that youths do not perceive themselves as vulnerable to being hacked and they do not think the consequences of being hacked are severe. The conclusion of the research recommended that more education was needed to change the perceptions the youth had with regards to vulnerabilities to, and consequences of, cyber threats.
Ms Shabab, during her presentation shared that 72% of children globally have been victims of cyber threats, according to a report from The Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF). The majority of these children (55%) have been exposed to misinformation, 46% been exposed to violent content and 44% and 32% respective fallen victim to either cyber bullying or cyber predators. In Singapore, 26% of children have encountered cyber bullying most commonly on social media sites such as YouTube and TikTok.
Mr Seow’s presentation explored the concept of digital citizenship through the social and cultural norms of appropriate and responsible behavior against the context of technology use. He highlighted the importance of developing critical literacies in becoming a discerning digital citizen. This consisted of the ability to ask meaningful questions; evaluate and analyze diverse sources of information; synthesize that information to form a coherent understanding and reflect upon one’s learning.
By fostering a culture of holistic cyber resilience in and through education, educators and students are empowered to navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.
Noushin Shabab, Senior Security Researcher in the Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky shared that "Children today are digital natives and have technology entrenched in their daily lives. With all the new technologies and platforms emerging year by year, new avenues for cyber threats arise. Cyber bullying is a very complex issue that requires a multi stakeholder approach. A strategy to support students through a challenging emotional state is as crucial as helping them understand the importance of cyber security and cyber resilience. Whilst the long-term goal is to help build up resilience, enabling them to cope with problematic social experiences without exacerbating psychological harm, the immediate solution would be to foster a sense of trust to address the burden (if cyber bullied) head on.”
Ethan Seow, CEO at Centre for Cybersecurity said "We are all digital citizens in the 21st century; cyber resilience is an important topic that deserves more attention and discussion. To paraphrase Toffler who said that the illiterates of the 21st century are those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn - I hope that highlighting the importance of 'critical literacies' would allow us to better navigate our cyber landscape."
Dr Jiow Hee Jhee, Associate Professor & Programme Leader at the Singapore Institute of Technology said, “As the digital environment that we are living in constantly evolves, there are many things that we need to be updated on, and it is always helpful to journey in a trusted community in order to navigate through the dangers it poses, and to harness the benefits it affords.”
To help students build up their cyber resiliency, Kaspersky recommends educators:
- Be attentive: Watch for signs of cyber bullying and stay current with regards to the latest fraud techniques
- Create a safe environment: Be reassuring, listen attentively, and encourage dialogue on cyber security tips along with reporting malicious content
- Describe the threats: Spend more time communicating with students about online safety measures and the evolving scam landscape
- Teach cyber resilience
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.
About Centre for Cybersecurity
Centre For Cybersecurity is a Singapore-based cybersecurity training centre for continuous cybersecurity training, education and work placement. We are the only cybersecurity course in Singapore that offers access to the top-of-the-line Cyberium Arena simulator used by governmental, military and private organisations globally. Centre for Cybersecurity's employment-focused courses provide industry-leading cybersecurity training combining theoretical knowledge with hands-on & skills-focused applied learning. https://www.centreforcybersecurity.com/
About The HEAD Foundation
The HEAD Foundation is an International Charitable Organisation, registered with the Commissioner of Charities in Singapore in 2013. It was set up to carry out philanthropic works in education but later extended its remit to include healthcare to improve lives in Asia, particularly in the less developed parts of Southeast Asia. It supports and funds sustainable education and healthcare projects that develop social and human capital. It strives to identify needs and formulate solutions by working with a network of global and regional universities, public institutions, and domain specialists through the sponsorship of policy, pedagogical and clinical research. To promote awareness of pertinent issues, the Foundation also conducts regular public events and workshops where ideas on education, healthcare, science, culture and the environment are presented and discussed. headfoundation.org