An Overview of International Cyber-Security Awareness Raising and Educational Initiatives (2011)

3.4. Campaign tools – Inclusion of skills acquisition

One of the key lessons from both Component 1 and Component 2 of this research report is that a diverse range of campaign tools has been used to date, without necessarily being the most effective use of resources.

The evaluations provide support for the use of interactive campaign tools that promote skills acquisition and rehearsal of those skills. This may require a mix of both information-only campaign tools (such as general website information and publications) and interactive tools.

Many projects assume that if a user acquires more information on Cyber-Security then this will automatically translate to more secure conduct online. Some campaigns therefore focus on the provision of ever-growing website information and publications. However, the evaluations demonstrate that this is not necessarily the most effective approach. Websites, leaflets and other information-only style projects will have a limited impact if not followed with hands-on skills acquisition.

The more successful projects appear to be those that integrate information with training and skill acquisition. Skill acquisition may take place through formal training programs, online quizzes, video games, and formal curriculum assessment.

For children and young people in particular, information probably needs to be complemented by an activity that allows them to ‘rehearse’ their skills (games, quizzes, virtual reality etc.).