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After Her Kids Were Hacked, Cybersecurity Engineer Writes Children's Book

BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) -- A Minnesota woman is on a mission to keep kids safe from hackers on the internet, and she's doing it through the power of storytelling and pictures.

Zinet Kemal, a mother from Blaine, self-published "Oh, No...Hacked Again!" after two of her four children had their accounts in a video game hacked.

You couldn't ask for a better mom than Kemal to deal with the crisis; she's a cloud security engineer getting her master's degree in cybersecurity.

Zinet Kemal - Cybersecurity Children's Book Author
Zinet Kemal (credit: CBS)

"I've always been passionate about security and just the whole purpose of why we need it and protecting our data," Kemal said.

If her kids were getting hacked, it was probably happening to other families, too. So Kemal got to work writing, and she hired an illustrator.

"It really is important to connect with the kids through the stories that they can relate to," she said. "As a result of that, it's easier for them to learn the lessons that are imparted to them about password security or multi-factor authentication."

Kemal turned her own children into characters, so other Muslim children could see themselves represented in the story.

Zinet Kemal - Cybersecurity Children's Book Author
(credit: CBS)

The last page of the story has an illustration of Kemal's 9-year-old daughter, Elham, all grown up working in a cybersecurity career of her own.

Kemal says she's noticed a lack of diversity in her industry, so she wanted to send the message that Black girls can go into STEM careers, too.

The book is Kemal's second effort for children. Her first book, "Proud In Her Hijab," is about young Muslim girls wearing the headscarves.

Both books are available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

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