Cyber literacy

I have just attended the 2018 Australian Cyber Security Conference. I heard a lot of impressive people speak and even understood what one or two of them were talking about!

In a number of the key note presentations there were references to needing to help Australians become “cyber literate”

Having spent most of the last few weeks trying to get my head around what digital literacy was, this new term was interesting to me. Having done a quick Google, the results seem to suggest that digital literacy and cyber literacy are interchangeable.

I would mostly agree with this but would suggest that based on the way it was being using by people such as Gai Brodtmann MP would imply that cyber literacy also implies a certain amount of awareness of the need for privacy and security in your digital life, the threats you might face and the ways you might mitigate them.

This idea of safety in your digital life was furthered by a talk by Jess Wilson from the Goodthings Foundation. Jess’ work is focused on cyber inclusion and helping older Australians get online. She said that the main reason these people are not online is that they are afraid of the online environment (e.g. getting scammed).

So although the terms digital and cyber literacy may currently be interchangeable, the use of the term cyber literacy may allow us to start a conversation about how we transition from using technology to using it securely.

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