As the coronavirus pandemic continuous to plague the world and keep everyone tucked in their homes, cyber usage has increased exponentially, leaving most unknowledgeable about the platform at risk of cybercrimes.
Due to this, the UK government is offering its British kids free virtual lessons on cybersecurity to enhance their skill and knowledge to better defend themselves against would-be hackers and stalkers.
The Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) are using their school to give out educational games and activities for students between the ages of 13 and 18.
Teaching them young
The children will be taught how to crack codes, handle security issues, and monitor criminals' digital trails while progressing through the game as a 'cyber agent.'
The program is available for sign up for free, and users will receive a 'license' to be given access to the school's interactive game, along with weekly webinars that are given for free from experts in the industry.
The project is of the Cyber Discovery program of the government and features a set of extracurricular online activities that are designed to build the foundations for future cybersecurity experts.
Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said that the initiative would supply teenagers with much-needed skills and knowledge in the basics of cybersecurity as well as a fun and enjoyable way to spend the coronavirus lockdown.
He also shared that they have a world-leading cyber department, which is crucial as it provides protection for the country and the digital economy. The circumstances lead to the importance of the sector being able to motivate and inspire the next generation on tech-savvy teenagers in undertaking the future of the country's cybersecurity field.
The program is being offered at the Cyber Discovery website, where applications for the license can be made.
The main attraction of the project is the interactive game called CyberStart Game, which has the player go through hundreds of challenges spread out across four different bases--Volcano, Moon, Forensics, and Headquarters-- that the teenagers can get their hands on.
The bases will feature unique and challenging tasks that the player must overcome to go to the next level. The tasks involve programming techniques with Python, along with running and writing their codes. The children will also be required to analyze digital traces and figure out the methods use by the cybercriminals in their attacks.
An innovative virtual school-learning style
The Cyber Discovery stated on their website that the game provides a rich narrative and features well-designed challenges and systems that will enable the students to work on the tasks on their pace and their own.
The virtual school provided the opportunity amid the coronavirus pandemic as a means of supporting and helping those who are locked within their homes with thousands of licenses up for grabs.
Currently, enrolled students at Cyber Discovery had immediate access to the new addition, but with their licenses expiring on May 1. The school then extended these licenses to last longer parallel to the opening of free licenses.
The registration will be open for eligible users until August 1 on the official Cyber Discovery website by supplying their name, email address, and school. After registration, potential players will have to wait for a reply that contains further instructions once their data has been reviewed.
Successful applicants will have access to the game until August 31. The chosen users will also be able to join in weekly webinars that the school hosts that are run by the creator of CyberStart and expert in cybersecurity James Lyne, who will be sharing his expertise in security disciplines, including cryptography and Linux, an open-source operating system.