Kids receive security education
The first-ever information security course for minors in China was held at Shanghai Yuyuan Road Elementary School in March and it featured guest speakers such as industry experts and chief security officers from major enterprises. The course will be held every fortnight in the school.
Yao Wei, founder of RainRaid, an independent information security consultancy based in Shanghai, was the first speaker at the course, which was hosted by the Shanghai Internet Security and Information Technology Office and Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.
After getting parents and their children to access a WiFi network which he had set up in the classroom, Yao went on to demonstrate just how easily cyber criminals can phish for sensitive personal data on such unsecured connections.
“This course shows the children that they could actually be paying an unexpected high price for joining unknown WiFi networks at public places. Some free WiFi connections may even result in a leak of their account information when they log on to certain social networks or make payments online,” Yao said.
Zhang Lincai, an information officer from the Shanghai Information Security Trade Association, said that the course will also teach participants how to use taxi-hailing apps and mobile payment apps, as well as how they can distinguish between insecure WiFi connections and official ones made available by the government or business centers.
Zhang added that such classes are expected to be made available to all the primary schools in Shanghai after teachers have undergone specialized training courses in the subject matter.
According to the findings of a six-month investigation by RainRaid, more than 10 percent of the 68,000 WiFi connections at major public venues, including airports, railway stations and shopping malls in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were found to be unsafe and connected users risked theft of personal and financial information.
Furthermore, results of another survey conducted by the Center for Internet, Film and Television of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League had revealed that nearly two in three juveniles have encountered security breaches before when surfing the Internet. Roughly 80 percent of the 12,000 respondents, aged between 6 and 18, said they require more knowledge in online privacy protection measures.
A group of 28 national political advisors had earlier this month proposed to improve Internet security education among juveniles, suggesting that such education should be made systematic and a compulsory component of the school syllabus.