Computer security

Young children can be active in their own defence online

A new animated interactive online resource and music video about computer security skills, produced by Hector’s World, is being launched today by the Hon Nathan Guy, Minister of Internal Affairs.Tama in Computer Security Episode - 'Oops'

Aimed at 5-9 year old aged children, their parents and teachers, the resources offer a foundation of basic computer security skills by introducing young children to topics like viruses and strong passwords.

Privacy Commissioner  Marie Shroff is also enthusiastic about the new resources. “We know from a recent UMR survey that New Zealanders are worried about children’s internet privacy. These are practical tools which will help to keep children safe online.”

“The new resources enable children to play a positive role in keeping their and their family’s information safe when using a computer online. Children can assist with the security of devices where important family information is stored, such as the family computer,” says Ms Shroff.

Liz Butterfield, Hector’s World Managing Director says, “We believe that young children can be active in their own defence online if we give them the skills and knowledge they need.  We know that children even at early primary level are using terms like ‘password’ and ‘downloading’. Yet, without a basic understanding of those concepts children cannot employ simple, proactive strategies to help keep their information secure and protect their computer.  We’ve made this learning process fun – how many songs about computer security can you name with a dance beat like ours?”

Ms Butterfield says, “Some children will enjoy the fun of these new resources and be curious about this subject matter; others will get all of the concepts right away and want to know much more.”

“In this era of online drop-down lists of hacking exploits and ready advice on building botnets, it’s important to channel the capability and talent our children have in a positive direction that benefits themselves, their family and their community. There is an important link between computer security, privacy and digital citizenship and the best place to start laying this foundation is when children are young.”

These new resources were created with a generous grant from the New Zealand Government’s Digital Strategy Community Partnership Fund.

Go to to see the new resources.

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