Safer Internet Day: How to be a Cyber Superhero

Using electronic devices has become almost a necessity in our day-to-day lives. For this reason, it’s never been more important for us to be cyber aware.

With it being Safer Internet Day, here’s some great work that The Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) have done to promote online safety for younger generations.

The increasing digitalisation of the modern society has been reshaping how we live and do business. This also leads to many new challenges about protecting people and organisations from malicious actors who can now launch attacks in the cyber space more easily than before. Therefore, educating children about cyber security and online safety so that they know how to protect themselves and develop an early interest in a cyber career pathway is very important. This will help fill the current gaps in cyber workforce in all sectors, and make our society more prepared for future cyber security threats.

The Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) at the University of Kent has been active in cyber security and online safety outreach activities, including producing free educational and awareness resources that can be used by schools, teachers, parents and pupils. The latest addition of iCSS’s activities in this area is an animated video entitled How to be a Cyber Superhero, which was produced to explain to young children in primary schools and early secondary schools about the importance of socio-technical and multi-disciplinary nature of cyber security and a diverse range of career choices. The video was a collective efforts of academics, an ICT teacher, and two young school pupils, and professional animation video producer, Scriberia.

Professor Shujun Li, Director of iCSS and the Executive Producer of the animated video, said, While online safety is more understood as a socio-technical and multi-disciplinary topic, many people have a misunderstanding that cyber security is such a technical subject that only those who with great ICT skills can do it. We hope the video we made can let more people appreciate the fact that socio-technical and multi-disciplinary nature of cyber security as well as online safety, and all can play a role in making our world securer. We encourage schools, teachers and parents to use the video to introduce more children into the world of cyber security and help diversify our future cyber security workforce.

To see more about why cyber security is important and where we are with pre-university cyber security education, please read the 2022 report produced by iCSS: ‘Pre-University Cyber Security Education: A report on developing cyber skills amongst children and young people’.

iCSS represents the University of Kent as one of only 19 Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACEs-CSR) recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, part of GCHQ) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, part of the UK Research and Innovation – UKRI). It promotes wide-ranging interdisciplinary research in cyber security and helps enhance cyber security skills and awareness of people and organisations, through a diverse range of cyber security activities, including research, educational activities, professional training, industrial consultancies, expert talks and media communications. iCSS works closely with industries, governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), enabling us to improve cyber security of our society with the wider cyber security community in the UK and worldwide.