Passwords and Security

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ALERT:  There has been an increase in both scams and cyber attacks on individuals, businesses and education establishments.  Reports to Action Fraud of hacking of social media and email accounts rose by 53% last year and reports of computer viruses and malware rose by 40%.

Gooseberry Student

Imagine you receive an online message offering the chance to win a PlayStation 5 console.  You enter your email address and click the “Register” button.  To your amazement you are one of the 3 lucky winners.  All you have to do is answer 3 short questions in the next 1 ½ minutes and then pay £1 to claim your prize.  To make the payment you will need to give your address, phone number and bank card details.

Which features of this scenario might make you sceptical? (unexpected, unlikely, rushed, too good to be true, requesting personal and banking details, asking for payment to claim your prize)

What should you do? (stop and think, check, avoid clicking links in unknown messages, never enter personal information via a link in a message.)

How could you check? (go to the company’s website using your browser to check if the offer is genuine, go to the genuine site, search for details of PS5 scams, ask an adult for help).

Activities Design a tempting offer – think about the type of persuasive words to use, the colours, and other techniques that make it hard to resist. 

Think of three random words that would make a good, strong password.

Gooseberry Teacher

You may be aware of recent attacks on educational establishments which have left schools unable to access their data.  The National Cyber Security Centre has issued an alert to schools.  It includes guidance on mitigating malware and ransomware and practical resources to help schools improve their cyber security.  A simple place to start is using strong passwords (they recommend three random words) and implementing two factor authentication. Our latest Guru video looks at passwords and other security issues in more detail.

Gooseberry Parent

Did you know that 15% of people use their pet’s name as their password and 6% use “password” as all or part of their password?  The National Cyber Security Centre are encouraging everyone to strengthen their passwords by using three random words, save them in their internet browser and implement two factor authentication. 

Passwords should not include personal information such as pets or children’s names, birthdate or favourite football team. These can be too easily predicted or worked out from social media and used to hack into our accounts. It’s also really important to use a different password for each separate account, especially your email account, since this is the gateway to your other accounts and where password resets are sent.

Other Resources

For Gooseberry Schools, you will find lesson plans that address some of the issues relating to passwords and security and accompanying parent advice sheets in:

Playground:   Scenario 3 Perfect Passwords

Street:           Scenario 2 Perfect Passwords; Scenario 10 Phishing

Village:           Scenario 2 Click Jacking; Sc10 Perfect Passwords

Town:             Scenario 2 Junk Email; Scenario 8 Click Jacking

City:                Scenario 1 Safe Sharing; Scenario 7 Passwords and Passcodes

Gooseberry Planet offers over 60 comprehensive lesson plans on all aspects of online safety for 5-13-year olds. Digital workbooks and fun, online games to reinforce learning make it ideal for teaching remotely.   Click here to find out more about Gooseberry Planet!

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