In this day and age, the internet is an essential part of our lives. We use the web for everything, from virtually meeting folks to watching entertainment. But do you know why learning cybersecurity can better equip you for your online journey? Or how? If not, no worries. That's literally why I'm here.
Digital Deception: Hacked
First, let me share a quick story so you know how this information can be helpful:
Jordyn, a gamer teen, returned home after a dull day at school and turned on her computer to log into Twitch. However, Jordyn noticed some new icons on her desktop and her bookmarks. She considered looking into it but decided against it because she was looking forward to hopping online and playing Fortnite with her team.
Unfortunately, later that week, she couldn't get into her Twitch account. Apparently, her password was changed, her email was removed, and she now had no way to talk to her thousands of followers. She's been hacked! If only she knew how to secure her account and knew what to look for!
Why Cyber security?
First, let's dive into the fact that most kids and teenagers are digitally savvy. Like Jordyn, most teens know how to use technology but don't know precisely how they work. So, I don't need to explain how to use your tablet to access your email. You got that already. Learning cyber security will help you become protected in your digital lives, and you must understand how to stay safe online.
Unfortunately, most resources available to you are created for older audiences and are more technical. The only help and info teenagers get is "Don't cyberbully others," which is something I vouch for but come on. If you want to learn about cyber security, where are you going to go? And that's my point. That's my purpose. So many organizations, content creators, and websites are so focused on developing adults that they exclude y'all. Either way, I am thankful you found my website.
Your Daily Screen Time and the Risks
Online safety is crucial because, according to this survey published by the nonprofit research organization Common Sense Media, daily screen usage for teens 13-18 is at eight hours and 39 minutes on average. Cyber security education should teach kids and teenagers how to protect their personal information, avoid scams, and recognize threats. This knowledge is vital for ensuring your safety. Unfortunately, most schools don't cover that.
"The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2021." Common Sense Media, 9 Mar. 2022, www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/research/report/2022-infographic-8-18-census-web-final-release_0.pdf. Accessed 30 May 2023.
Boost Your Confidence
Learning about cyber security also helps you become more confident in your daily life. How many times have you panicked because your computer glitched? How many times have you clicked on a suspicious link with the promise of a reward? Understanding basic cyber security principles can empower you to confidently navigate these scenarios.
A Challenge to Your Thinking Skills
Another advantage is how much it improves your critical thinking skills. "To catch a hacker, you must think like one" is a common saying in the field. And it's 100% true. How can you expect to catch a bank robber if you don't know anything about getaway driving? Cyber security involves solving complex problems and understanding how different pieces fit together in a puzzle. Don't let that intimidate you. If you like solving puzzles and beating games, it's no different. You will discover "common sense" aint so "common" in the world, so this is a great perk.
An Ethical Journey
As you navigate the web, your ethical awareness will be tested. It's like a big set of rules that you use to determine right from wrong. So, if you are always wilding out in Grand Theft Auto, then you got bad ethics. (Nah, I'm just playing, lol).
Understanding Online Consequences
But forreal though, this indirectly helps you understand the consequences of your actions online. There have been MANY MANY MANY instances where people thought you could be disrespectful online without blowback, and they were ALL wrong. They learned this lesson the hard way.
Staying Ahead with Adaptability
Adaptability is another skill that you can develop because tech is always changing, and new tools are being developed. I mean.....how many different cell phones have you seen? What about gaming systems?
Be the Tech Guru
People will think you are a tech guru because you enjoy learning stuff. Which also adds to lifelong learning. We are in the age of information. There are so many new things being developed that also help make lives easier, for example Artificial intelligence. The most common ones are Alexa from Amazon and Siri from Apple. But, ChatGPT and more AIs are being developed. It helps to stay ahead of the curve.
Developing Your Technical Skills
Developing technical skills is the most obvious advantage because you get exposed to different concepts and programming languages. These are beneficial in education, life, and of course- work.
Which is a whole nother topic. But that's a blog for another time.
Simply speaking: cyber security education offers a lot of personal benefits, and while some of the ones I just mentioned may not seem important, I promise you: They all are.
I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to drop your experiences, thoughts, or any questions in the comments section. And remember, the cyber world awaits you - Stay Secure!