Children's password-related books: efficacious, vexatious and incongruous

Karen Renaud*, Suzanne Prior

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


Software is developed specifically for children and this often requires them to authenticate themselves, usually by entering a password. Password hygiene is important for children, because the principles they learn in early life will often endure across their life span. Children learn from their parents, siblings, teachers, and peers. They also learn from educational resources, such as children’s books. We carried out a content analysis of a range of children’s books that aims to educate children about passwords. We used directional coding, as informed by a systematic literature review of methods, such as those used in other content analysis-based studies of children’s books. We examined the principles the books taught, and whether these were correct. We also analysed how the books portrayed the genders of characters, in various roles. We found that principle coverage was variable, with books sometimes teaching outdated principles. Genders were evenly represented in the books. Finally, our analysis revealed conflation of the terms “safety” and “security” in the cyber domain. We conclude the paper by justifying the adjectives we use in the title.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-400
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number3
Early online date9 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Password good practice principles
  • Children's books
  • Gender
  • Safety
  • Security


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