Designed to provide girls with the necessary skill-set to spark early interest in the cybersecurity industry, the Girl Guide-led program encourages participants to take a “how stuff works” approach to cybersecurity, giving them a robust and in-depth look at the topics through play and discovery-based learning.
This innovative new programming will empower girls as digital citizens while giving them access to invaluable hands-on knowledge that might not be available to them otherwise. Following age-appropriate content for each branch of GGC from Sparks (ages 5-6) to Rangers (ages 17-18), girls will learn:
- How computers, encryption and malware work
- How data travels
- How authentication works to protect information
- How pen testing and hacking work
- How cybersecurity creates layers of protection
- How patches and firewalls protect computers
- How machine learning is predicting and preventing cyber attacks
“At Girl Guides, we’re focused on empowering girls with the relevant skills that will help them soar,” said Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, GGC. “Girls have told us they want to know more about how they can protect themselves, their devices and their information online so they’re prepared to navigate the digital world they live in and to learn about potential careers in technology. BlackBerry is an incredibly innovative cybersecurity brand and we’re thrilled to be working with them.”
The Digital Defenders activities aim to fuel girls’ interests in how cybersecurity technologies work, but also gives them opportunities to discover possible pathways to future careers and to connect with women mentors in the cybersecurity field. Along the way, as with all Girl Guide programs, girls will build skills in critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, observation and teamwork. Girls who complete the programming will earn a Digital Defenders crest that they can proudly display to show off their newfound cyber-smarts.
“As the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continues to grow, the need to be cyber savvy when it comes to things like staying safe online and protecting personal information has never been more important,” said Sarah Tatsis, VP, Advanced Technology Development Labs, BlackBerry. “As a former Girl Guide myself, I know first-hand how adept the organization is at fostering a passion and curiosity in girls that they continue to take with them throughout their lives. I’m confident that the program will spark interest in countless girls across the country, embedding a skill-set that will be extremely valuable in our increasingly connected world where top cybersecurity talent is both scarce and in high demand.”
To learn more about the GGC and BlackBerry Digital Defenders program, please visit http://www.girlguides.ca/digitaldefenders.