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How to Teach: Phishing & Scams

A brief overview on the topic of Phishing & Scams, as it relates to the Internet Independent Framework.

How to Teach: Phishing & Scams
What does Phishing & Scams mean?

Phishing and scams entail a broad spectrum of deceitful tactics employed by cybercriminals to trick individuals into revealing personal information, downloading malicious software, or falling for fraudulent schemes. In the Internet Independent Framework, this topic pertains to understanding how these attacks work and the methods to mitigate associated risks. This education is about recognising vulnerabilities, manipulative tactics, and the strategies to protect oneself from falling victim to these malicious schemes. 

Why is it important to teach Phishing & Scams to students?

It's essential to acknowledge that people of all ages can become victims of online scams and phishing attacks. Cybercriminals do not discriminate based on age, and young individuals are just as susceptible to these schemes as anyone else. Teaching students about phishing and scams equips them with the literacy skills necessary to identify these attacks. It's about understanding the characteristics of phishing scams and recognizing the red flags that indicate potential deception. In addition to identifying deceptive tactics, students need to learn how to assess the repercussions of falling victim to phishing and scams. Understanding the potential damage to personal information, financial security, and digital assets can motivate students to stay vigilant.

Relating Phishing & Scams to Students

Students often encounter phishing and scams within the chats and interactions of online games. Young players can be susceptible to clicking on tempting offers that appear "too good to be true," such as promises of free in-game credits, cheat codes, or rare skins. These digital temptations may serve as a gateway for malicious actors to compromise their accounts or steal personal information. In the digital age, malicious apps are another common avenue for scams and phishing attacks. Students may come across apps that appear legitimate but are actually designed to deceive users. Recognising the importance of scrutinising apps and their sources is a crucial aspect of digital literacy.

Potential Risks and Threats

Teaching students about phishing and scams is not merely an exercise in awareness; it's a proactive measure to protect them from the following risks and threats:

  • Downloading Malware: Clicking on unknown links or downloading apps from unverified sources can expose students to the risk of downloading malware onto their devices. Malware can compromise personal information, damage devices, and lead to security breaches.

  • In-Game Phishing: Falling for phishing attacks within games can result in the loss of accounts, stolen credit card information, and the compromise of personal data. The consequences of such attacks can be severe and long-lasting.

  • Breach of Sensitive Information: Phishing attacks and scams often aim to extract sensitive information, such as login credentials, financial details, and personal data. Educating students on these risks is vital to safeguard their information.

Teaching Strategies

To effectively impart the knowledge of digital media literacy to students, educators can employ various teaching strategies:

  • Lesson Plans: Utilise our comprehensive lesson plans tailored to different age groups. These plans cover age-appropriate key concepts and ensure that students grasp the fundamentals of cybersafety.

  • Open-Ended Discussions: Engage students in thoughtful discussions by asking open-ended questions that will ignite critical thinking and healthy debates. 

  • Project Work: Incorporate project-based learning into your curriculum by using our project challenges. These projects encourage students to work on long-form assignments that delve deeper into the complexities of each topic, thereby promoting a more profound understanding of the topic.

Professional Development

If you wish to enhance your school's cyber safety education initiatives, consider conducting professional development training workshops for educators. These workshops are designed to help teachers understand how to effectively teach cyber safety to students. For more information, visit our website or contact us directly.

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