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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Discover what this means

Go phish

Learn how to be scam-savvy online and put your pretend passwords to the test.

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You’ll need

  • Device with access to the internet

Activity summary

This activity explores what it means to stay safe online. While we can’t fall over and hurt ourselves on the internet, it’s important to know how to stay away from scams (and people trying to scam or hurt others) so that you can protect yourself and others. This activity is designed to be started before you get stuck into your main session or activity, then finished at the end.

Step 1: Staying safe online

  1. Everyone should chat about the devices they use to access the internet. What do they use and where do they use it? Who owns the devices?
  1. The person leading the activity should introduce the ten top tips for staying safe online.
  1. Everyone should chat about the tips and help each other to understand them all. Does anyone already follow some of them? Has anyone learned something they should start to do (or stop doing)?

Step 2: Keep it secret, keep it safe

  1. Split the group in half.
  2. The person leading the activity should ask one half of the group to think of a strong password. They should ask the other half of the group to make a simple password. 
  1. Everyone should come up with a brand-new password to an imaginary account. They should make it as strong or as simple as possible, depending on the instruction the person leading the activity gave them.
  2. Everyone should try to remember their new passwords until the end of the session without writing them down.

Step 3: Codebreakers

  1. At the end of the session, everyone should try to remember their passwords.
  1. Someone should visit and help the group members to check their passwords. Which ones were strongest, and which were the weakest? Who had the strongest password? Make sure not to share any of the passwords with anyone else, just think about what makes it stronger or weaker.
  1. Everyone should chat about how to find a balance between having a password that’s easy to remember and having a password that’s strong.
  1. Everyone should chat about how they might feel if someone got hold of one of their real passwords.
  1. Never tell anyone else any of your security details.
  2. Use strong passwords and PINs.
  3. Don’t use the same password or PIN for more than one account.
  4. Never write your passwords down.
  5. Only save passwords on private devices.
  6. Keep firewalls and anti-virus software up to date on all devices.
  7. Limit the amount of personal information you provide on social media.
  8. Make sure you have strong security settings on social media.
  9. Only accept online friend requests from people you know.
  10. Don’t do online banking on public Wi-Fi.


Our passwords can be like a key that unlocks our lives and lots of personal information. If someone gets hold of a password, they have access to things that are private. It’s important to understand how much we have locked away behind our passwords and how important it is to keep them safe. This activity has looked at what makes a good password – take some time to think about how we might feel if someone got access to our passwords or accounts.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Step it up by adding more requirements to the passwords – capital letters, punctuation, character limits.

  • Some people might get anxious learning about scams: could you practise or create some standard responses for people who might be scammed so they can protect themselves with confidence?
  • Make sure to allow time for young people to ask questions and understand the topic. Online safety can have lots of terms and buzzwords that can be confusing, so make sure you move at a pace that’s comfortable for everyone.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Take a look at Take Five and their videos on email and phone scams. Has anyone seen any of these scams before? Could anyone recreate their own scam?

Take a look at more money skills activities.

Everyone uses the internet in their own ways, so take the time to ask and answer questions specific to young people’s situations. You can take the question away and do some more research if you need to.