At what point should personal online safety be questioned and why should the rising trend of ‘re-data-ships’ amongst young people be a concern? A survey, conducted by a Government-funded cyber security programme, has revealed that nearly half (45%) of its respondents have shared passwords and PINs with friends.
In a bid to halt the rising trend of these ‘re-data-ships’, Cyber Discovery says it has worked with its top security experts to create a guide for young people on how to keep personal data safe. The guide features a basic set of rules for young people to follow in order to enhance their online security, including:
1. Do not have ‘re-data-ships’ – where you share personal data with friends or partners
2. Stay away from using your favourite musician or athlete’s name as your password – as well as your birthday, pet’s name etc.
3. Have different passwords for each site
4. Use a complex password alongside a password manager tool
5. Change your passwords regularly.
James Lyne, creator of Cyber Discovery emphasises the importance of young people being aware of cyber-security risks saying, “Young people are taught about things like ‘stranger danger’ from a young age, but often we concentrate so much on our ‘enemies’ that we forget to think about our friends and partners, particularly when it comes to staying safe online. Friendships and relationships constantly change throughout a lifetime, but those that start at a young age can be particularly susceptible to bad break-ups and fallings out. We need to teach young people about the importance of protecting their personal data and the risk of ‘re-data-ships’, as it will lead to greater protection later in life.
Cyber security is a growing industry and it’s estimated that by 2022 there will be a shortage of 1.8 million cyber security professionals – which provides a massive opportunity for young people to get ahead in this remarkable and exciting career. It’s why we’re teaching young people the skills now, so they understand the dangers of sharing personal data, and to hopefully encourage them to pursue a cyber security career in the future”.
Other research from the survey revealed that one in five 18-24 year-olds said they would feel comfortable sharing their date of birth with an organisation they didn’t know and 36% would share some personal data with an organisation they didn’t know when asked.
The study also found that 57% of people trust friends and family with their personal data – the same amount that would trust their bank.
The government-funded, free, extra-curricular programme is said to be designed to find, educate and inspire the next generation of exceptional cyber security experts and is open to 14-18 year-olds in the UK. It uses games, challenges and role-playing to teach the basics of cyber security to young people, and encourages future careers in this area. Students interested in the programme need to complete as many challenges as possible from the online assessment phase by 7th January 2019.