HackShield is a game developed in the Netherlands that makes children between 8 and 12 years old resilient against cyber crime. They get to work as Cyber Agents and must protect themselves and others against cyber criminals. While doing so, they learn all about cyber security and safe surfing.
They are also encouraged to pass their knowledge on to older generations. Via Quests, the children can challenge their parents and grandparents. They can even create their own levels, which they can then play together with their friends. HackShield really puts the thinking skills of the young Cyber Agents to the test.
The ideal way to make your kids resilient against cyber crime, in other words.
"I'm already hooked. I want to keep playing. You really have to use your brain."
At home, at school and in your community
HackShield developed game formulas for classes and municipalities, working together with municipalities in Belgium and the Netherlands. Participating municipalities are looking for Cyber Agents who make sure their environment can use the internet safely. The best Cyber Agents even get a chance to be officially honoured by their municipality.
Aware of cyber security in a playful way
Children grow up with the internet. It is an important and, for most, indispensable part of their daily lives. At the same time, cyber crime is the fastest growing form of crime and criminals are no longer primarily targeting companies and governments, but also individuals. Lack of awareness on the part of children of the risks they run online can have far-reaching consequences. “Familiarizing them with cyber risks in a playful manner pays off, because learning young is doing old," says Cathy Suykens, Operations Manager at the Cyber Security Coalition.
"The current generation of young people is born with a tablet. But this doesn't mean that these digital whizz kids are also cyber wise."
The current generation of young people is born with a tablet. But this doesn't mean that these digital whizz kids are also cyber wise', Mrs Suykens says. “To ensure their digital well-being, cyber security must be in their DNA.”
It is the mission of DNS Belgium to provide people with a safe internet experience. We are accordingly taking a lot of initiatives ourselves in the field of cyber security. But we also try to make people aware of their safety online and to increase their knowledge of cyber security. The earlier you can do that, the better, of course. That is why DNS Belgium is very pleased with the HackShield initiative.