<firstimage=”//www.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Shutterstock-Safety.jpg” />One of my erstwhile colleagues had pointed out the importance of keeping kids safe when they are online. Digital education is not only about learning how to program or use a software; it’s also a lot about knowing the who the villain among the bits and bytes could be. As we run to catch up with the torrent of data, others are looking to grab some of our own. Spam is just a small part…there are more evil in the form of phishing and password theft.
With the age of cyber savvy kids on the rise, internet safety is just as important a part of education. Parents can play a prime role as educators.
But then, there are loads of resources which can play the role of motivators. A class on internet safety need not be dull and drag when you have interactive games like these six to take you through the concepts.
This cool online game teaches kids all about the rules of web safety and digital citizenship. Taking on the role of ‘webonauts’, children have to complete a series of missions in order to graduate from the Webonauts Internet Academy. The lessons follow the motto – Observe, Respect, and Contribute. Right from picking up a uniform to the planetary excursions, the online game is interactive but it requires a fair bit of patience. The game teaches child must-dos like keeping passwords secure or how to build web profiles. The PBS Kids website is a must stop for both children and also parents as educators.
The game is courtesy of AT&T. It’s all about battling a villain who is spamming people with messages. The goal is to rid the town of this evil character and make it safe again. As Captain Broadband, you can seek out the villain from a few locations around town, answer a few quiz questions, garner points, and banish the bad guy forever. If you succeed, you become a certifiable hero. Press play.
This is a case of the classic Hangman game reincarnated as an internet safety educational game. The game follow the same rules, except now the clues all relate to cyber rules you should remember rand follow. You have to guess the answers to the questions and feed it in to complete the game.
The Kids.com Jr. internet safety game for kids is a series of questions on net etiquette for kids. The questions are like an instructional quiz that serves to teach the main points on internet safety.
This game is a limited version game of the actual one but the game play is enough to educate someone about phishing on the internet. It is also a game that’s meant for older kids and even adults. As Phil, a young fish living in the bay, you have to earn points by eating the good worms (good URLs) and refusing the bad worms (phishing URLs). Your mentor is the PhishGuru who helps you identify the good from the bad. It’s a cool site that can help anyone avoid online phishing scams. The actual full game has four rounds while this limited version has only one, but it gives you a general idea on phishing scams.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States uses this site to impart education on internet safety. A lineup of 13 quiz games will allow you to test yourself on everything from spyware detection to wireless security. Not all games are on security as some also test your awareness on online investing and auctions. But it’s definitely about cyber-smartness.
If you are looking for a free downloadable game to learn about cyber-safety, Carnegie Mellon’s Carnegie Cadets: The MySecureCyberspace Game teaches you all about cyber defense and how to protect yourself with four missions on how to spot spam, how to keep personal information safe, and how to identify Web threats. It’s a 173 MB download (available for both PC and Mac).
When it comes to parental controls and keeping your kids safe, education is the first course. Have you tried to educate your children on the manners for safe browsing and internet safety? Which course have you followed?
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