What you need to know
- Feb. 8, 2022 is Safer Internet Day, which focuses on teaching young people and children the importance of internet safety.
- Mojang Studios and Microsoft are participating in the day with the arrival of CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm, an educational Minecraft world.
- CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm tasks children with overcoming four challenges covering different internet safety topics, and preaches thinking before acting.
- The adventure is already available for Minecraft: Education Edition users for free, and will come to the Minecraft Marketplace in March.
As time passes, the internet becomes increasingly prevalent and influential in our lives. This is especially true for young people and children, who are being raised in an "internet-first" world. Since 2004, Safer Internet Day has worked to share the significance of internet safety education, and returns again on Feb. 8, 2022. On Monday, Mojang Studios and Microsoft announced they're joining in this year's Safer Internet Day with a brand-new educational adventure world for Minecraft.
CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm both pays homage to Minecraft villagers' infamous "hmm" sound and seeks to remind players of the perpetual importance of pausing before acting when online. The adventure is aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 12, and will task them with overcoming four challenges. Each challenge tackles a different topic related to staying safe and aware while perusing the internet. CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm is the perfect tool for educators and parents alike to teach their students or children about these subjects.
By the end of the adventure, children should be better equipped to protect their personal information, recognize and handle phishing attempts and scams more easily, and, most importantly, realize the importance of conversing with trusted adults on being safe online while still having fun. All of this and more is a part of Safer Internet Day, of which this adventure is only a small part.
In total, there are five parts to CyberSafe: Home Sweet Home, including:
- Meeting the Trusted Adult NPC. This non-player character, appropriately named Trusted Adult, acts as the guide throughout the CyberSafe adventure. The Trusted Adult constantly provides advice and information during each of the four challenges. Always available as a source of support if a player requires additional help, the Trusted Adult represents all trusted adults in a child's life that can be sought out when going online.
- Playing with friends online. The first challenge in the CyberSafe adventure sees players confronted with a friend that wishes to connect online and provides their username. Players need to pay close attention to username details to navigate numerous close duplicates and connect safely to their friend, highlighting the importance of verifying identities online.
- Sharing login information. The second challenge in the CyberSafe adventure sets players in front of a maze, in which an NPC offers tantalizing cheat codes that will aid the player in completing the maze faster. All the player has to give in exchange is their login information. Players will need to consider the ramifications of carelessly sharing login information online, and navigate the maze safely.
- Sharing personal information. The third challenge in the CyberSafe adventure involves the Trusted Adult ordering a product and requiring the player to head to the store to resolve an issue. Players will have to navigate to the store in question, where they're asked to enter account information. Players will have to consider whether or not it's safe to share that information, and remember the importance of protecting their personal information.
- Researching and gathering information. The fourth and final challenge in the CyberSafe adventure focuses on researching online, and the importance of verifying the quality of data before acting on it. Players will need to choose the correct pumpkin pie product from available options by analyzing a variety of factors, including reviews, recommendations, and more.
CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm is a free world that's available to Minecraft: Education Edition users starting today, Feb. 7. In March, the internet safety adventure will head to the Minecraft Marketplace for all Minecraft: Bedrock Edition platforms, allowing a greater number of children to access it through one of the best Xbox games.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.