By Isabella Corradini and Enrico Nardelli
The theme of cybersecurity regards people in primis, considering that everyone uses digital technologies both in professional and private life, and that people’s behaviour plays an important role in the occurrence of cyberthreats. The human factor has therefore to be recognized as an essential element to be considered for developing an effective cybersecurity, and education is the key driver. However, since children access online activities at an early age, it is wise to develop interventions to promote digital awareness from first years at school, focusing on the responsible use of digital technologies. Becoming conscious of the risks they are exposed to is an important step for children to move safely on the Internet and to understand the different cyber-risks they have to face. This activity represents hence a fundamental step for cybersecurity education.
In this paper we present a study investigating Italian school teachers’ perception of their students’ digital awareness and their evaluation of the actions needed for its development. Answers were provided by 2,229 teachers from all over the country belonging to primary and secondary schools, participating in a national project whose goal is to spread computer science and to sensitize students to a proper use of digital technologies.
The results confirm the high sensitivity of teachers towards digital awareness issues. Indeed, students should be prepared to recognize risks when they use digital technologies: not only cyberbullying, they should pay more attention to the protection of their personal data, and to the reliability of news on social media. Moreover, teachers declare the need for themselves to receive specific training on digital awareness, and to be supported in their activities.
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