By Anonymous Middle School Student

CyberRama, by Arthi Vasudevan, is a book about a girl named Maya and her friend Dave, who must stop cyber criminals in a game so they can stay safe. The book starts off with Maya coming home from school and Dave telling her about a new game that is supposed to be super fun and that everyone else is playing. He convinces Maya to play the game with him later that day. Maya goes home to find that her parents have been working on something called Project X ,which is a secret government, and Maya isn’t allowed to know about. Her parents made many different animal robots from her childhood that are supposed to help her be safe online. Each robot has a different personality, but they all have the same goal, providing tools that can help Maya and Dave be safe online. Later that day, Maya’s parents go back to work and Dave comes over. The two of them log on to Cyberama and learn important lessons about cybersecurity.

There are many valuable messages that I learned from reading this book. For starters, you are never supposed to give out your Personal Identifiable Information – also called PII – to strangers or websites. Your PII includes the following: phone number, personal address, credit card number, name, birth date, car license plate number, and other details that are specific to you. The book teaches readers about social engineering, which is how cybercriminals trick you into giving out your home address unknowingly. Another important thing I learned is how to create a secure password. Passwords should be nearly impossible to guess and only known by the person who owns the account. Including both lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation will make passwords much harder to figure it out.

I recommend this book to others because it can help many kids to be able to learn how to be safe online, especially at an early age. If you can learn how to protect yourself in the digital world, you can eventually teach your kids the same thing. Finally, Cyberama is helpful, fun, and educational all at the same time. I also recommend playing the game, which is very similar to the game played by Maya and Dave in the book. Overall, I really enjoyed reading Cyberama and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun way to learn about cyber safety.

Savvy Cyber Kids educates and empowers digital citizens, from parents and grandparents, to teachers and students. Sign up for our free resources to help you navigate today’s digital world with cyber ethics. See more cyber safety and cyber ethics blogs produced exclusively for EarthLink. Looking for a social media parental control? Try a 30-day free trial of Bark. If you sign up after your trial, Bark donates 25% of your monthly fee to Savvy Cyber Kids.

Thank you to the Savvy Cyber Kid’s sponsors!

Interested in becoming a Savvy Cyber Kids sponsor? Email Ben Halpert.