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Girl Scouts To Give Out Cyber Security Merit Badges

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- There is a new line of defense going up against the dark web world of hacking. And it's not some new high-tech startup in the Silicon Valley.

The Girl Scouts have announced an agreement with the Palo Alto Networks to develop the first ever series of national cyber security merit badges. With the launch of the first badge curriculum slated for Sept. 2018, the program will eventually feature up to 18 different badges the scouts can earn.

Hacking prevention wouldn't be the only area of cyber security the scouts will study. There will also be badges for data privacy, cyberbullying and how to protect yourself and your parents online.

"At Girl Scouts of the USA, we recognize that in our increasingly tech-driven world, future generations must possess the skills to navigate the complexities and inherent challenges of the cyber realm," said Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA, in a prepared statement.

"From arming our older girls with the tools to address this reality to helping younger girls protect their identities via internet safety, the launch of our national cybersecurity badge initiative represents our advocacy of cyber preparedness."

Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin said the partnership was targeted at "helping build tomorrow's diverse and innovative team of problem solvers equipped to counter emerging cyberthreats."

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