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For parents

Children keep getting younger when they first use the internet, but they often cannot recognise all the dangers. Internet is not different from everyday life, one has to be careful with new friends and using money. Internet also influences everyday life, so it is important that kids understand that and know how to ask for help.

This page has different useful links and information on how to talk about the internet and guide your child when they play Spoofy.

The game is divided into four worlds. Each world has a different focus that develops digital competencies but also communication, self-determination, social and citizen competencies.

The worlds are all playable separately and do not need a specific order. The school and birthday worlds are shorter and simpler, and will suit individual playing, the park world is a bit more complicated and the grandma’s world is more suitable for slightly older kids. But all are playable with an adult.

Focus of the game

Cyber safety is an important topic for everyone, including children. Most adults and many children have smart devices, internet is everywhere. Even though some social media sites presume that users are 13 years old, most children use them long before. They also play online games, use school forums and communicate with friends. Therefore it is important that children can behave online already at a young age and recognise various threats found on the internet. The game focuses on these important three topics:

  • Internet is not separate from real life

    Social media posts and behaviour on the internet affect people’s everyday lives. The money spent online is real money, the messages written and posted there have a real effect on people, and it is possible to do real harm through the internet. Part of cyber security is that children need to understand the impact of their actions and could account for the consequences: a friend might get hurt, unpleasant information might spread or they might fall victim to criminals.

  • On the internet, not everyone is a friend.

    Children encounter many different people on the web, many of whom are old or new friends. But there are also bad people who don’t seem like that right away. So children need to be careful: who they talk to, who they share information with, and who they accept as friends. It is also good that children learn at an early age that there are also criminals online who hack or organise scams.

  • Ask an adult for help!

    Children don’t often know how to or don’t want to ask an adult for help because they are afraid or they think that parents don’t know either. But adults have more life experience and many internet issues they have seen long before so they should always ask for help.

Themes in the game

Friend requests

People get many friend requests, children are no different. Therefore it is important that they can critically evaluate, which are good requests to accept. Adding the wrong people can give them additional information and access. Therefore, it is important to stress that they should know the person in real life or at least in a game or similar. If the photo and name are familiar but the profile seems strange, they should also be careful and ask for additional information because there are many fake accounts going around. When they meet an internet friend in real life, they should always consult an adult first, especially if the “friend” asks them not to.

Scams on the internet

There are many free things, ads and good offers on the web. Many of them are scams.

  1. Free things often come with viruses or other malware. If it should not be free (like a movie, for example) and someone else is charging for it, the free one is suspicious.
  2. „Share this and you might win“ is usually a scam. Even if you get the reward right away, the sharing is still not a good idea.
  3. If something seems like too good to be true, it usually is.

Passwords

All devices and accounts should be password protected. You have to remember three things:

  1. All passwords must be unique, each account has to have a different password.
  2. Passwords must be long and complicated
    1. At least 12 characters
    2. Letters, numbers and other symbols
    3. Don’t use easily recognisable things like your name, name of a family member etc.
  3. Do not share your passwords with anyone, maybe only your parents.

Hacking

Hacking is any misuse of computer to get access to someone’s computer or system. Hackers can have ethical goals but often they are malicious. Hacking usually requires computer skills and knowledge but there are also those who purchase readymade assets on the internet and use them for their goals. Hacking is usually illegal so hackers are often greeted by police at their doors, and hackers are considered criminals.

The instructions include all the necessary information, all in one place

Useful materials