Play to beat the Cyber Hackers

  |  Published: Jan 26th 2016
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Bletchley Park's Codebreakers were adept at discovering secrets but nowadays the heritage attraction is more skilled at helping people keep them private.

Now Nicola Gale, Intel Security Online Safety Education Officer, has created a free board game to keep children safe online.

She uses The Internet Safety Board Game in her school and family fun sessions, and the game is available for free download online. It is aimed at teachers but anyone can access it.

Players must get their counter to the finishing line first. Landing on certain squares means picking up a card; a safety success will send them racing forwards but a security pitfall will see them falling behind. The cards, which are split for ages 8-11 and 11-14, feature facts, opinions and questions designed to stimulate discussion.  The former secondary school science teacher led drug and alcohol outreach sessions before she started working for the Bletchley Park Trust so she is used to encouraging children to talk about social issues.

Nicola said, “The aim is for children to start talking about internet safety rather than adults having a forced conversation with them in front of a computer. It’s gone down exceptionally well. I needed something within a workshop so the children talk and are introduced to a lot of topics in an informal fashion. It would take me a long time to talk about each of these topics at the front of the room and the children already know a lot; they are being reminded in a way that means an adult doesn’t have to lead the way.”

Nicola used the many discussions she has had with children and parents to inspire the text on the game’s cards. She used a scene from Bletchley Park’s Intel Security Cybersecurity exhibition, which focuses on staying safe online, as a backdrop for the board.

The game is available at https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/internet-safety-board-game-11135546

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