Washington girls learn cybersecurity from PNW company
With online learning and less in-person social events, an insurance company has partnered with Girl Scouts to teach cybersecurity during COVID.
More than 100 girls in Washington state receive new “virtual armor” with specialized cybersecurity training from a Pacific Northwest company.
PEMCO Insurance has teamed up with Girl Scouts to deliver the classes and teach elementary-age girls about online safety.
“Better to start sooner rather than later, and even specifically with girls,” said Allison Leep of PEMCO.
Leep noted that 75% of cyberbullying victims are women.
During the pandemic, many more children are also relying on the internet and smart devices to connect with school and their friends.
“Additional exposure creates additional risk,” Leep said.
Amelia and Charlotte Dolan are sisters of the Scouts of West Washington. They are ready to participate in the course this week.
“Last year we have all been really immersed in this world of interacting and learning computer skills at a much faster rate than expected,” said their mother Corrie Zemann-Dolan.
His daughters are already going through some important milestones.
“You shouldn’t trust anyone you don’t know,” Amelia said.
“Often times we react to situations rather than being prepared for potential things that might happen,” her mother added.
PEMCO and Girl Scouts aim to help girls spot red flags on social media and in online games.
“[Some people] try to act like an 8 year old, ”said Charlotte. It’s a little scary that people are doing this. ”
“[They say] “If you give me your address … I can send you money,” Amelia explained.
“[Girls] learn more about the kinds of things I can share, like “I love to read, and my favorite color is blue,” Leep said. at school.”
Girls who participate can earn special cybersecurity badges.
The course also aims to inspire. Leep said only 25% of cybersecurity jobs are held by women.
“Whenever there is an opportunity to expose girls to STEM and STEM careers, just grab it,” she said.
Even before taking the class, Amelia feels this motivation.
“Whatever men can do, women can do and climb to the top.”
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