5 Convincing Reasons Teaching CyberEthics Is a Must in Today's Environment

Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, it has become increasingly necessary to teach today’s youth about cyberethics and what it involves. Teaching children about the ethics of using digital devices has become an integral part of what can make a happy family safer online in today’s environment.

According to The Guardian, 39% of children said they couldn’t live without their smartphone, with 53% of UK children owning one by the age of 7. By 11, 90% had their own smart devices as of January 2020, which should raise concern over the ethics of proper handling of such devices. It’s undeniable that we live in an interconnected world with a plethora of useful internet platforms for learning and peer collaboration.

However, the other side of the coin should also be taken into account – phishing scams, identity theft, and cyberbullying are part of grim reality. In order to minimize the risks of K-12 and younger students falling into cyber traps, cyberethics teaching should become the norm going forward into 2020. That said, what are some of the most convincing reasons to teach cyberethics, and what are the outcomes of doing so in today’s environment?

1. Increasingly Accessible Smart Devices

As we’ve mentioned, it has become increasingly more likely for children to receive their first smart device at an early age. Based on Leftronic, 60% of families provide children with a cellphone by the age of 10, with dads being more supportive of the decision than moms. Before we delve into doom and gloom, it’s vital to understand that cellphones are useful tools, especially for single children.

School may finish sooner than expected, or they might want to sleepover at a friends’ birthday party and get in touch with home quickly. The problem rears its head when we add social media platforms with unrestricted access to various types of content into the equation. Parents who take a proactive approach to issues and explain cyberethics of right and wrong uses of smart devices are doing the right thing. It’s inevitable that a young child will come across video ads or photos which don't correspond with their age – be proactive and explain cyberethics.

2. Address Cyber Myths & Common Threats

While some cyber threats fall squarely into prejudices, others are very real and pose a serious threat to young children. For example, phishing scams which aim to collect credit card or ID information from devices are real but can be avoided through careful device use. Banner ads which offer free games or coupons if a child clicks on them, however, almost always contain harmful malware.