Dec 04 2014

Program Challenges Students to 'Think Before You Link'

Intel Security and Discovery Education launch a digital safety effort to teach cybersecurity and online ethics.

Intel Security has partnered with Discovery Education to launch online cybersecurity courses to help students make safe decisions when browsing the Internet.

The Intel Security Digital Safety Program has interactive courses that teach students "ways to keep personally identifiable information private online, create stronger passwords, and how to deal with cyberbullies," according to a news release.

“Teaching our kids to be safe and savvy online is one of the most important things we can be doing,” Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer of digital security service McAfee LiveSafe, which is owned by Intel Security said in the release. “If we’re successful in these kinds of endeavors, we’ll be contributing not only to kids’ personal well-being but also to their future education and careers — all of which will spur economic development.”

The online coursework is divided into three modules designed to teach students to “Think Before You Link:” cybersafety, cybersecurity and cyberethics. Cybersafety is the first module available, with interactive courses for students and parents. Students can print a certificate of achievement if they pass a quiz at the end of the module.

The program, which was announced on Nov. 13, is targeting U.S. and Canadian children in the 8 to 11 age range in its first year. There are plans to reach kids ages 11 to 14 in the second year and studentst in the United Kingdom and Ireland in its third.

Intel isn’t the first tech company to increase its focus on cybersecurity basics at the elementary school level. On Nov. 4, Google representatives visited a middle school in Washington, D.C., as part of what a company spokeswoman called an “online safety road show.” Google’s crash course on Internet safety provided many of the same lessons as the Intel Security Digital Safety Program.

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that says it is dedicated to “empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology,” also seeks to encourage responsible online behavior by promoting Digital Citizenship Week, held Oct. 19–25. The nonprofit provided schools with lesson plans, videos and games to teach students about the dangers of some online behavior, such as “oversharing,” and how to become responsible and safe digital citizens.

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