Thursday 13 June 2024
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Police ‘Escape room’ teaches youngsters how to defeat cyber criminals

A cyber escape room proved to be a popular attraction when it was laid on by Nottinghamshire Police at a national event.

Cadets from around the country took part in the fun and interactive exercise, which is designed to teach good online security behaviours.

It was made available at the RAF Air Cadets National Air & Space Camp, held at RAF Syerston near Newark earlier this week.

A team from Nottinghamshire Police’s cybercrime unit and the East Midlands Special Ops Unit were on hand to help youngsters complete the virtual escape room, while providing tips on how to protect online accounts from hackers and cyber criminals.

Kirsty Jackson, cyber protect and prevent officer at Nottinghamshire Police, said the cyber escape room was an excellent tool.

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She said: “It’s really good as it gives a realistic taster of a real hacking, but is a fun, interactive cyber-security exercise to teach good online security behaviours though a variety of problem-solving tasks, including phishing, data leakage, creating strong passwords and implementing two-factor authentication on online accounts.

“Once the cadets competed to escape in the quickest time, we explained each topic covered and how it affects their cyber security.

“Overall, it was a really successful day. We engaged with lots of cadets from around the country and gave advice on the simple yet effective things they can do to mitigate the risk of them falling victim to cybercrime.

“We also had extensive discussions around careers in cyber and cyber training available, whilst handing out leaflets so that they can pass on key protect advice to their family and friends.

“The feedback was really positive. Many of the cadets said they were going to strengthen their passwords and assess their online security when they got home, which was really pleasing to hear.”

The cadets received 7 key tips for improving their online security:

* Use a strong and different password for your email, social media (including WhatsApp) and other online accounts, using 3 random words. For example. Hippo!PizzaRocket.

* Turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV) – 2SV works by asking for more information to prove your identity. For example, getting a code sent to your phone when you sign in using a new device or change settings such as your password (never share these codes, these are for verifying your own devices only when logging in).

* Learn to manage passwords instead of trying to remember them. Consider password managers (these can be found in your current software set-up, search your device settings for passwords to find it) or consider password manager apps. Alternatively, write them down and keep them somewhere secure.

* Back up important data – ensure you can recover your important photos, documents, and other personal data stored.

* Update your devices – applying security updates promptly will help protect your devices and accounts from cyber criminals.

* Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails or messages.

* Be careful what you share on social media / check privacy settings.

Among those who found the tips helpful was Flight Sergeant Zoe Tutt, of 402 (Gravesend) Squadron. The 18-year-old said: “I really enjoyed the escape room. Having learnt what I have, I’m definitely going to strengthen my passwords and make sure I use different passwords for my various accounts.”

For more detail on the above tips and further information on cyber security, visit www.eastmidlandscybersecure.co.uk/nottinghamshire.

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