Girls Scouts are known for their patch-adorned vests. Now, they’ll be able to earn cybersecurity skills badges, thanks to Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).
On Thursday, HPE announced a new cybersecurity curriculum and game that teaches young girls about internet safety.
Introduced in partnership with Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, the program aims to help Junior Girl Scouts, who range in age from 9-years-old to 11-years-old, safely engage in online activities. Once they complete the program, Girl Scouts can proudly sport a cybersecurity badge that features a laptop, security lock, and the official Girl Scouts logo.
The cybersecurity curriculum will cover four key areas: Personal information and digital footprint, cyberbullying, privacy and security, and online safety. According to HPE, only 61 percent of U.S. tweens and teens use social media privacy settings. With the curriculum, Girl Scouts can become more savvy about their digital activities and protect their data from potential hackers.
Cyber Squad, the cybersecurity program’s game, is like having a virtual tech classroom: It simulates cybersecurity cyberbullying, phishing, and online safety through role-playing characters and quizzes. The game, which can be played online, will roll out to smartphones later this year.
In the game, Girls Scouts and their avatars are placed in real-life digital situations, where they’re asked to assess scenarios throughout a storyline. When players take a step to be more safe with their avatar, they’ll receive virtual cyber patches that they can unlock along the way.
“Making basic cybersecurity awareness at a young age is imperative, and as fundamental as safety skills in the physical world, like learning how to cross the street,” Liz Joyce, HPE’s chief information security officer, said in a HPE press release. “Through this collaboration, we hope to arm Girl Scouts with the cybersecurity literacy and knowledge they need to be savvy, secure and safe online, and to empower them to be good digital citizens.”