New Book for Kids Makes Online Safety an Adventure

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Just in time for a safer New Year, a new children's book makes talking to your kids about online safety easier. I got a first look at "Hector and Cyber Adventures" by Renata Kaminska, scheduled for release in January. This chapter book is more than a thrilling adventure; it's the perfect conversation starter for families navigating the often-treacherous online world.

An illustration from the book "Hector and Cyber Adventures" by Renata Kaminska, showing two kids reviewing a suspicious message with a link.

Image: Renata Kaminska

About the book

In this latest addition to the "Hector & Friends" series, Hector the dog takes center stage once again. This time, he's leading young readers through an exciting journey filled with valuable lessons about online safety. As parents and educators strive to find engaging ways to teach children about the digital realm's potential risks, Hector and his friends offer a fun yet educational perspective.

Readers follow Hector, his owner Suzy, and her friend Peter as they embark on a time-traveling adventure to a place where the internet reigns supreme. The trio isn't just exploring for fun—they're on a mission to learn how to stay safe online.

The inspiration behind "Hector and Cyber Adventures"

"The idea for this book came as a suggestion from a policeman who made me aware of the challenges children face in the cyber environment, and how difficult it can be to educate them about online safety," author Kaminska explained.

With children under the age of 12 becoming increasingly active online, more kids are exposed to risks like cyberbullying, scams, inappropriate content, and digital addiction. Recognizing the need for a fun and engaging way to educate children about online safety, Kaminska was inspired to add a cybersecurity adventure to the "Hector & Friends" series.

Illustration from the book "Hector and Cyber Adventures" by Renata Kaminska, showing a police office explaining online privacy and safety tips.

Image: Renata Kaminska

Hector, the perfect guide

Hector isn't just any playful dog; he's a wise role model for helping children navigate the online world. In an age where screens and devices are integral to our lives, understanding how to stay safe while having fun online is crucial. Hector's curiosity and wagging tail make him an ideal companion for this educational journey.

A peek inside: Hector's lessons for online safety

The book is divided into ten chapters designed to illuminate crucial aspects of online safety through Hector's adventures. Hector and his friends explore chapters like "Think Before You Click," "Mobile Security," and "Not Everyone Is a Friend." Each one helps kids understand the dangers lurking online and how to steer clear of them.

As you follow Hector's adventures through these chapters, you'll discover that he's not just a playful dog but a wise mentor. He's the friend who guides children to essential life lessons without them even realizing it (and isn't that the best way, sometimes?).

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I wrote 'Hector and Cyber Adventures' to empower children with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the online world safely. I aim to foster a sense of digital responsibility and awareness among young readers, helping them become savvy and safe internet users. I hope this book not only educates but also inspires a dialogue about digital safety between children, parents, and educators.

About the author

Renata Kaminska, the creative mind behind the "Hector & Friends" series, is a passionate writer and philanthropist. A Polish-British author, Kaminska is dedicated to enhancing out-of-school education, fostering empathy among young people, and developing critical thinking skills through her educational adventures. Her books have received accolades and recognition for their unique approach to tackling challenging topics for children while providing valuable knowledge and guidelines.

Positive impact beyond books

Kaminska's commitment to positive change extends beyond her books. She initiated the charity project "Hector and Friends for Ukraine," coordinating the translation of her book into Ukrainian and generously donating copies to Ukrainian children. Her dedication to child literacy, critical thinking, and compassion for young readers continue to make a meaningful impact on young lives.

Join the adventure

Following Hector's enthusiasm for learning, parents and kids will find the mountain of cyber safety easier to climb with this book as a guide. I loved discovering this unique approach to kids' internet safety—and my nine-year-old niece found Hector a fun and relatable guide through what can be complicated information. The more ways we have for kids and parents to learn about being responsible digital citizens, the better. If you're looking for a way to ease into the conversation about staying safe online, I think joining Hector on his cyber adventure through time is a great place to start.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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