Who is best placed to support cyber responsibilized UK parents?

Prior, Suzanne and Renaud, Karen (2023) Who is best placed to support cyber responsibilized UK parents? Children, 10 (7). 1130. ISSN 2227-9067 (https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071130)

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The UK government responsibilizes its citizens when it comes to their cyber security, as do other countries. Governments provide excellent advice online, but do not provide any other direct support. Responsibilization is viable when: (1) risk management activities require only ubiquitous skills, (2) a failure to manage the risk does not affect others in the person’s community. Cybersecurity fails on both counts. Consider that parents and carers are effectively being responsibilized to educate their children about cybersecurity, given that young children cannot be expected to consult and act upon government advice. Previous research suggests that UK parents embrace this responsibility but need help in keeping up to date with cybersecurity ‘best practice’. In this paper, we consider a number of possible sources of parental advice, and conclude that support workers would be best placed to support parents in this domain. We then carried out a study to gauge the acceptability of this source of help. We find that parents would be willing to accept advice from this source, and suggest that cybersecurity academics be recruited to train support workers to ensure that they have current ‘best practice’ cybersecurity knowledge to impart to parents.