With the rapid and widespread adoption of digital technologies and online services, ensuring the security of our cyberspaces has become an indispensable component of personal safety. The escalating cases of data breaches and cyber-attacks highlight the urgent need for cyber-safety and cyber-defense skills. Education plays a pivotal role in increasing awareness and combating cyber threats. It is essential that students in schools are well-informed about cyber hygiene and potential cyber threats, as the younger generation becomes increasingly vulnerable to cybercrime.
Acknowledging the significance of this issue, the Government of India has established the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs. This centre aims to provide a comprehensive and coordinated framework to combat cybercrimes effectively. To spread awareness on cybercrime, the Central Government has taken various steps, including disseminating messages through SMS, using social media platforms like Twitter (@Cyberdost), Facebook (CyberDostI4C), Instagram (cyberdosti4c), and Telegram (cyberdosti4c). Additionally, they have engaged MyGov for publicity across multiple media, organized Cyber Safety and Security Awareness weeks in collaboration with States/UTs, published a Handbook for Adolescents/Students, and more. All stakeholders have also been encouraged to participate in creating mass awareness.
In line with these efforts, the concept of forming Cyber Clubs in schools has been suggested during I4C meetings. By establishing Cyber Clubs, educators can provide students with a platform to explore, learn, and excel in the field of cybersecurity and emerging technologies, equipping them with essential skills for their future success.
Therefore, School Heads are requested to form a CYBER Club in their schools and adopt a more focused approach towards promoting cyber hygiene. One teacher, preferably with knowledge of Cyber Security, shall be nominated as the Cyber Nodal Officer, whose details are to be filled in CBSE OASIS portal. Advisories and cyber safety tips will be regularly sent to schools through the nominated teacher by I4C or CBSE.
The following are suggested activities for Cyber Clubs:
- Inviting speakers to present lectures, hands-on activities, and demonstrations to students about Cyber Security and potential careers in cybersecurity.
- Providing hands-on training by experts on open-source tools in computer labs already set up in schools.
- Creating a dedicated space to display news articles or photographs related to cybersecurity in the workplace or classroom.
- Organizing plays by students on topics like cyber frauds and cyber awareness.
- Conducting cyber quizzes, competitions, and hackathons, while encouraging students to participate in various cyber Quiz/Olympiads.
- Recognizing outstanding students with "Scholar Badges" for quiz winners or those actively involved in disseminating cyber awareness information.
- Publishing a newsletter in Regional languages on cyber security and preventing cybercrime. The content should be presented in an interesting and illustrative manner with infographics and interactivity to invite new ideas from students.
- Sharing daily Cyber tips with students during assembly sessions.
- Organizing Mass Awareness Camps with the active involvement of Cyber Club members.
- Creating and displaying Do's and Don'ts related to cybersecurity at prominent places in the school.
- Through the collaborative efforts of schools, teachers, and students, these Cyber Clubs can contribute significantly to fostering a safer digital environment and mitigating cyber threats in our society.
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