Nerida Brand is a PhD candidate at the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff. She is currently undertaking a research placement with RISCS, which is supported and funded by the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.
Her research focuses on the human experience of digital technologies, particularly the balancing of information sharing with an understanding of cyber risk. She is primarily interested in how these issues are negotiated by vulnerable individuals, such as children and adolescents. Her work with RISCS will investigate how risk and digital responsibility can be communicated in age-appropriate terms, harnessing today’s youth’s unprecedented engagement with digital technologies.
Through this research project, Nerida aims to equip educators with effective classroom resources that will facilitate important dialogue on cyber security and risk. These teaching aids will allow students to troubleshoot potential risks in a safe environment, while empowering them to manage their digital footprint. Nerida’s research aims to promote digital resilience, enabling children to safely navigate a dynamic cyber landscape with boundless possibilities for content creation, socialisation, and expressions of identity.
Nerida Band – RISCS PhD placement
‘Under the mentorship of RISCS Director Genevieve Liveley, I have been given the opportunity to co-design and manage a research project communicating cyber security risks to schoolchildren. My research aims to support and equip those in a position of power, such as teachers and caregivers, to advise, protect, and foster digital resilience in young people.
My research aspires to support a deeper understanding of the complexities of human engagement with digital technologies. It aims to prepare children for today’s rapidly evolving cyber landscape, equipping them to safely navigate its unparalleled opportunities for content creation, socialisation, and expressions of identity. My research will investigate how risk and digital responsibility can be communicated in age-appropriate terms, avoiding the use of fear-based rhetoric, and encouraging individual agency. It will identify ways in which children can be empowered to manage their digital footprint as they grow increasingly proficient with information sharing technologies.
Through my research, I hope to inform the development of policy that recognises children’s vulnerability to cyber risk and addresses the evolving needs of educators in supporting their students. During my placement, I will produce classroom resources that will facilitate important dialogue on cyber security between teachers and their students. By allowing students to troubleshoot potential risks in a safe environment, I aim to enhance their preparedness and capacity to deal with cyber challenges that may arise and otherwise impact negatively on them. This research therefore promotes psychological wellbeing and digital resilience through its focus on user experience and agency.’