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Chris C
Chris C

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A helpful cyber-security game for parents/kids in 2020

DEV network,

I do not have any children myself. Only some plants and a 100 pound German Shepherd (who is a little too addicted to eating snow if you ask me).

But I have a fairly extended family/friend network who are parents & my immediate community is extremely family-friendly. Many of us may be working and schooling from home for the foreseeable short term.

This means that young (read: malleable) minds WILL be spending more time on social media, on school chats, on zoom meetings (where we know that strangers can pop in), church service chats, podcasts, video game chats, TikTok, etc...

Critical election campaigns are also ramping up for the next 6 months.

Online traffic is flowing at exponentially higher levels than when you and I were kids (if dial-up was still feasible in 2020, every Quinceañera or Bar Mitzvah should mark a 1-year custom where Junior must survive on a dial-up modem connection as a rite of passage). Tradition! OK enough chattering from me.

Google has kindly developed a fun game to teach people the tenets of Internet Safety, malware/phishing attempts, pyramid schemes, and develop critical thinking skills::

Research indicates that during heightened global instability (and more vulnerable circumstances) there are spikes in cases of extremism/recruiting/discrimination efforts online:

My job is not to tell you how to censor what your children consume as digital media. Or to give up unprecedented loss of our personal liberties/privacy through legislation::

But there are useful content blockers (think OpenDNS or Quad9) for devices to block malware/spam, adult content, etc. We all have that elderly family member who is even more naive about the Internet than the 12 year-old. So a lot of lessons can even be learned in old age. I am astonished at the intelligence of many younger generations who learn new code languages and IT in general. I started an interest at a young age myself but the strides they make today is a welcome sight.

My last soapbox stanza here will be on "disconnecting". As fun as Netflix is, as fun as playing Prince of Persia can be (cool reference bro, [I know]) ...

I fully believe you need to disconnect to play with the cat/dog/alpaca, go on a trail walk by yourself, plant a garden, volunteer to help a vulnerable community in any capacity, play an instrument, write a journal, or work out at the makeshift home "gym". We will get through the fog while we need to learn/endure some difficult lessons. Be easy on yourself and on each other.

Other privacy/security tools are pinned to my profile for further information. Also, can't wait for the DEV podcast!

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