A new draft of an Australian educational curriculum proposes teaching children as young as five cybersecurity:
The proposed curriculum aims to teach five-year-old children — an age at which Australian kids first attend school — not to share information such as date of birth or full names with strangers, and that they should consult parents or guardians before entering personal information online.
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. Teachers will also discuss “the use of nicknames and why these are important when playing online games.”
By late primary school, kids will be taught to be respectful online, including “responding respectfully to other people’s opinions even if they are different from personal opinions.”
I have mixed feeling about this. Norms around these things are changing so fast, and it’s not likely that we in the older generation will get to dictate what the younger generation does. But these sorts of online privacy conversations are worth having around the same time children learn about privacy in other contexts.