3 fun ways to test your cyber security awareness

cyber security skills

So how’s your cyber security awareness? This is an important question to ask yourself as cyber attacks are proving to be a growing threat to Australian individuals, businesses and governments.

Cue the stats! The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Targeting Scams 2019 report says that Australians lost over $634 million to scams in 2019. And although estimating the overall cost of cyber crime and data breaches to Australia’s economy is a challenge, Australia’s Digital Trust Report claims that even one week of major widespread digital disruption could cost $5 billion. Argh!

To make sure your cyber security awareness is 100%, here are three fun ways to test your skills and learn a thing or two in this area.

1. Take this quiz

Like we said, cyber crime is a HUGE global issue and sadly it’s increasing all the time. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, it’s estimated that by 2025, cyber crime will cost approximately $10.5 trillion (USD) annually around the world, up from $3 trillion in 2015. That’s a growth rate of 15% every year!

That’s why you need to make sure you stay protected online, and this quiz will suss out whether you are cyber safe or cyber sorry.

2. Join a cyber security challenge

If you’re always the first to suggest a visit to an escape room or you’ve got a seriously impressive puzzle stash, you’ll want to sign yourself up for multiple cyber security challenges. In them you decrypt, decipher, break and hack your way through a series of goals, typically gaining ‘flags’ at each point.

You’ll be solving number or word puzzles, checking out the code behind websites or images, flexing your cryptography skills, searching through posts for clues and maybe even using ethical hacking practices to locate missing people or objects.

By doing this, you’ll get to experience real-word scenarios that STEM professionals like penetration testers, analysts and forensics consultants work on all the time. Reverse engineering programs and breaking encryption will also help you gain a better understanding of why things like super strong passwords and dodging viruses are crucial in the digital world.

Keen? Here are a bunch of challenges to get you started:

• AustCyber
• CSIRO’s CyberTaipan
• Regional CyberChallange

RELATED: Test your cyber security skills… with pizza

3. Enter the Grok Cyber Comp

Cyber security awareness - Grok Cyber
Image: iStock/Andrew Rybalko

The legends at Grok Academy are on a mission to educate students in transformative computing skills so they’ll feel empowered to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. That’s why they’ve launched the Grok Cyber Comp.

The comp runs from May 31 to June 13 this year, and its aim is to build cyber security awareness and skills.

How does it work? Well, during the competition window, students will take part in a 45 minute interactive online challenge. Throughout it you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s not a good idea to use the same password for different apps
  • Why a private social media profile with 1,000 friends really isn’t very private at all
  • How to avoid falling for scam emails which can trick you into giving private information away.

It’s free for Australian school students in years 5 and 12. Registrations are open now for teachers and students. Parents can also pre-register on behalf of their children.

Concerned about your cyber security or safety?

Check out trusted online sources, such as Stay Smart Online, the Australian government organisation AustCyber and the Schools Cyber Security Challenges. You could also have a chat to a teacher or trusted adult.

And what about cyber security jobs? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Find out how to kickstart an exciting cyber security career by watching our live webinar recording, where we hear from three real-life STEM professionals busting myths and swapping pathway stories.

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is Careers with STEM’s digital content strategist. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.


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