Schoolchildren To Be Coached On Cyber Risks

BANGALORE: Schoolchildren in the state will get to learn about cyber risks and threats as virtual security firm McAfee and its parent company Intel launched the Education Digital Wellness curriculum here recently.
The Intel Education Digital Wellness curriculum programme is designed to help children identify and assess dangers on the internet to protect themselves from cyber-bullying, identity theft, malware and so on, said Anand Prahlad, managing director of McAfee India.
He said that according to a recent report, India has 243 million internet users. Even third graders are using tablets and 12-year-old kids are exposed to nasty comments on the internet. “India ranks third in cyber-bullying among 25 countries. Our attempt is to make sure children are made aware of the risks in internet usage,” Prahlad said.
By March 2015, McAfee aims to take this curriculum free-of-cost to one lakh children in Karnataka and Haryana, the only two states where it will be introduced. “We have received support from UNESCO and the Educational Quality Foundation of India, which will help us identify the schools where the curriculum will be introduced,” he said.
The curriculum consists of four modules — cyber wellness, threats to cyber wellness, safety for social media and the road ahead. The curriculum will make its way into both government schools (for Classes 8-12) and private schools (Classes 5-12) that have access to internet and infrastructure, Prahlad said.
According to McAfee Tween & Technology Report 2013, tweens (kids aged 8-12) are online for approximately 2 hours a day, and 45 per cent of them said they are online after 8 pm. The internet is used by 76 per cent tweens from 5 pm to 9 pm.
Of those surveyed, 58 per cent were found to have risky (low-level) security passwords while 41 per cent said they share information about themselves over Facebook. Thirty-six per cent of tweens have spoken to someone online that they did not previously know.

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Courtesy New Indian Express
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