Badges make today's Girl Scouts tomorrow's cybersleuths Today's Girl Scouts, tomorrow's cybersleuths. (Girl Scouts of the United States/Joybot/Flickr)
Badges make today's Girl Scouts tomorrow's cybersleuths
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How safe is your data? Probably not as safe as you think. Everything from international cyber attacks to your smart refrigerator can put personal information at risk. This includes your money and even your own safety. But there is help. The world has a new cybercrime-fighting force, the Girl Scouts. That's according to Catherine Thorbecke reporting for ABC News

In 2017, Girl Scouts of the USA announced that it developed a series of cybersecurity badges. Thorbecke reports that the badges cover everything. They cover hacking to online identity protection. They were released in fall 2018. 

The thought of scouts learning to thwart hackers and tackle cyberthreats may seem surprising. But it shouldn’t be. There are hundreds of badges a Girl Scout can currently earn. And they don’t all involve campfires and first aid. They encompass everything. There are badges for fashion and business. There are badges for social innovation and computing. 

The Girl Scouts' leadership has made a commitment to STEM education. They wanted to develop a scientific and technological discovery program that exposes girls to STEM topics every year. One such topic is cybersecurity.

The organization partnered with security company, Palo Alto Networks. Together, they developed the 18 badges. In a press release, Palo Alto Networks called the program “a huge step toward eliminating traditional barriers to industry access, such as gender and geography.” 

The program targets girls as young as five with badges. These badges require mastery of different cybersecurity topics. The hope is that today’s Girl Scouts will become the future’s industry leaders.

That's important, considering today's cyber industry has proved hard for women to crack. A report found that women report higher levels of education than men in the industry. But today, just 20 percent of cybersecurity workers are women. Women earn a lower salary in the industry and they also experience discrimination once they enter the industry.

Fifty-one percent of women surveyed said they’d experienced discrimination. They have seen everything from unexplained delays in advancement to exaggerated highlighting of their mistakes. That is compared to just 15 percent of men. Slate’s Josephine Wolff reported on the issue. She said making industry-adjacent events like hackathons more welcoming to women could help with recruitment. So could the Girl Scouts’ new program.

Encouraging girls to get involved in cyber is a win for everyone—as GSUSA’s CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a press release. It’s all about cyber-preparedness. The cost of cybercrime is expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021, so it’s never too early to have more cybersleuths on the case.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do you think adding STEM badges for Girls Scouts or Boy Scouts may be helpful to today's kids?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (48)
  • Nicolas A-mag
    3/12/2019 - 11:48 p.m.

    today we live in a world with more technology and there are many attacks an the intemet such asharossment, bulling among othertings. adding stem badges can be a great help in preventing children from seeing things they should not, all this will help their own safety.

  • Sarah-E2
    3/13/2019 - 10:25 a.m.


    This article was very interesting. I went into this article because I love science. I think that it is great that the Girl Scouts are standing up for cyber security. I wonder what that app can do. I think that this app will be a great help for the world of cyber security.

  • Yadira C-mag1
    3/14/2019 - 10:19 p.m.

    because with the badges would be inpulsaria to join this project and it would be very useful since now everything is via internet and social networks with this we would be more protected and protected because everyone would be more careful in what they do with technology and information that has to be provided at times and the technology is advancing more and more so we need more care.

  • erikl-orv
    3/15/2019 - 05:23 p.m.

    i think it is smart that there employing children to fight cyber hacking. my consern is what if one day these girl scouts become cyber hackers. but istill think there hard workn is gonna pay off.

  • Guadalupe M-mag
    3/15/2019 - 07:51 p.m.

    Because today children are very good at mastering technology, it is a very good idea to teach this kind of thing from an early age, this is useful so that they can learn many things related to cyberspace, but also to avoid exposure to any kind of dangers.

  • Angel R1
    3/15/2019 - 08:29 p.m.

    so that children now experience cybersecurity and other related issues. and in the future they can help prevent these crimes from being carried out, such as identity theft, or the theft of bank accounts, etc.

  • Selena J-mag1
    3/16/2019 - 04:55 a.m.

    I consider that today's children explorers should agredar STEM insignia because they would be too useful because the children of these days live in constant online activity that allows them to connect with the outside, therefore, in an important way their data are in danger in the network, which for minors should be a space full of security and weapons of valuable power for the learning and development of children who like technology.

  • Ruben G-mag
    3/16/2019 - 08:36 a.m.

    Because That's important, considering today's cyber industry has proved hard for women to crack.

  • Audrey-E2
    3/18/2019 - 11:01 a.m.

    I am going to tell you adopt STEM badges for Girls Scouts.How safe is your data? Probably not as safe as you think. Everything from international cyber attacks to your smart refrigerator can put personal information at risk. This includes your money and even your own safety. But there is help. The world has a new cybercrime-fighting force, the Girl Scouts. thank you.

  • ethanm-orv
    3/18/2019 - 11:37 a.m.

    I never knew girl scouts did things like STEM and computer software. I thought that was why girls wanted to be able to join boy scouts(which I think is dumb). It is cool that they do those things.

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