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Australian Schools Consider Adding Cybersecurity to Curriculum

Julia Rapp

Australian Schools Consider Adding Cybersecurity to Curriculum

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has seen incidents of cybercrime and fraud soar from our amplified reliance on technology. According to the Department of Home Affairs, cyberattacks in Australia affect 1 in 3 people, with cybercriminals walking away with $29 billion last year, Recent cyberattacks hitting UnitingCare Queensland and the television network "Nine."

In response to the increase in cyber threats and digital age risks, the Australian government declared it would increase cyber security investments to make Australia more cyber secure as part of its Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

According to recent articles, the latest draft of the proposed national school curriculum would start basic cybersecurity education and training early in school, beginning at age five. The curriculum would go all the way through age sixteen. Education and training would be gradual, starting with the basics, and evolving over time. According to The Register, “Six-and-seven-year-olds will be taught how to use usernames and passwords, and the pitfalls of clicking on pop-up links to competitions. By the time kids are in third and fourth grade, they’ll be taught how to identify the personal data that may be stored by online services, and how that can reveal their location or identity.”

The curriculum is not yet approved and must go through a consultation period in which changes can be made. With the ubiquitous role cyber plays in our lives, touching almost every aspect, requiring cybersecurity and digital age risk training and education in schools will be advantageous in the fight against cybercrime and fraud.