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Help Secure Their Online Experiences

Zinet Kemal Author Interview

Oh, No …Hacked Again!: A Story About Online Safety is about a girl that loses her game account because of a hacking website. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I wrote this book inspired by the experiences of my own children. During the pandemic, I noticed how my children were spending more time online gaming or for school. With that exposure, I also saw two of my children’s gaming accounts get hacked on more than one occasion. Their online experiences motivated me to write my 2nd children’s book “Oh, No… Hacked Again!” a story to teach children the important message of online safety.

As someone who is an immigrant Black woman who transitioned into cybersecurity from the legal field after moving to the US from Ethiopia 9 years ago, I quickly learned about the glaring lack of diversity within the industry. I hope to convey an important message through the story to spark interest in young readers, especially girls and girls who look like me, to consider cybersecurity as a meaningful career option.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about online safety?

People, have this misconception that out of a huge internet who would be interested in targeting me? Even if they do and become successful what valuable data would they be staking from me?

However, the fact of the matter is it isn’t about who the cybercriminals are targeting. Usually nothing personal and it doesn’t have to be big corporations or rich or celebrity folks. The bad guys are targeting everyone yes including common individuals using automation tools throwing their net to fish whatever sensitive information they could get their hands on exploiting any system’s vulnerabilities that we might have neglected or put off to update in any of our devices.

The other misconception is thinking that Usernames and passwords provide enough strong protection. When in fact in reality that isn’t the case. usernames and passwords are vulnerable to brute force attacks and can be compromised.

Attackers have tools to crack the passwords so it’s important to use a strong complex password and implement multi-factor authentication to plus to enhance your security by requiring a user to identify themselves by more than a username and password. It’s also vital that we don’t reuse our passwords and instead use a password manager because we don’t have to remember all the passwords we use to authenticate for the various devices.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from this story?

It’s important that parents cultivate a culture of open communication with their children so that kids are comfortable sharing their online experiences with their parents should they encounter something out of the ordinary or they think they are getting in trouble. Its critical that we also instill a culture of having a security mindset and the importance of online safety to our kids, teach them not only the importance of not sharing our passwords, and any personal information with others, having strong passwords but also the importance of implementing Multi-factor authentication to help secure their online experiences be it for entertainment gaming or for school purposes. It is also meant to spark interest in o a possible career option in the field of cybersecurity fighting against cybercriminals and protecting sensitive data, especially of the most vulnerable population.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

May be 🙂 I am currently focusing this year on finishing my grad school program Masters’s degree in Cybersecurity at Georgia Tech University and promoting my two children’s books!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Meet Elham, a fun eight-year-old girl who loves online games. While she and her siblings enjoy the adventures of online games, Elham struggles with making the safest decisions.
What happens when she suddenly cannot log in to her favorite game? She’s been hacked before. How will she recover if it happens again? Elham must lean on her mom and siblings to stay safe while navigating the digital world.

Grab this fun family story, gather the children, and learn the importance of online safety and explore the exciting and ever-evolving field of cybersecurity as a future career option.

Oh, No …Hacked Again!

Oh, No… Hacked Again! A Story About Online Safety by Zinet Kemal is based on her own children’s experiences with internet safety. Seeing her children go through this experience, led her to write a book so other families can avoid some of the dangers of the internet.

This informative children’s book is written from the perspective of an eight-year-old girl. It is broken out into five chapters, the story begins, the panic, the take over, doing the right thing, and the lesson. I really liked how the author broke the story down in this way. There is a lot of important information in this book and if it was not broken out I feel some children would get overwhelmed or lost. Breaking things out into chapters like this allows for an adult to read to or with the child and pause to discuss what happened and how they feel or relate to the story.

Elham loves to play online games and has had the unfortunate experience of being too trusting of people she meets online. Twice she had her game account hacked, she lost everything she had worked for. Kids today that play Minecraft and Roblox will be able to relate to how much work goes into collecting everything and making the perfect avatar. They are also constantly bombarded by the ads to earn free currency and all too often those scams look real. This book explains how, if it sounds too good to be true it is, and if you are unsure always ask an adult.

At the end of this important story is a page of lessons learned from the book, the number one lesson, never ever share your password with anyone, no matter how much they claim to be your best friend and are going to help you. It goes over other internet safety rules that parents can walk their children through and discuss. There is also a page on internet vocabulary so when discussing these topics they can look up words they may not have heard before.

Oh, No… Hacked Again! A Story About Online Safety is a practical children’s book to introduce the idea of computer safety to young elementary kids through middle grades. The message is told in a language that is easy to understand and the artwork fits well with the story.

Pages: 30 | ASIN : B09M85Y31J

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The Importance Of Representation

Zinet Kemal Author Interview

Proud in Her Hijab follows a young Muslim girl that is teased at school over her hijab and shows how she deals with the feelings it causes. What was the inspiration for your story?

I am a mom of four amazing children – 2 girls and 2 boys. The inspirations are also my kids, their years of questions they bring from school as they get asked about their hair type, braid styles, and my girls’ hijab. There aren’t many books about hijab and we already have most of them that are out there so during the pandemic we decided to write our story with characters and names that look like our family. I can’t stress enough the importance of representation and how my girls feel empowered seeing and walking to this book in their respective classrooms. The main message is to uplift and empower girls who choose to wear hijab and be proud of their identities. Also to create awareness for readers about the importance of appreciating diversity and inclusion and embedding appreciation for other’s faith and cultural differences.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Mia Hay?

Mia Hay is the formatter and designer of the book. She is awesome and very professional. I didn’t have a good experience working with the illustrator being unprofessional and not delivering on time. However, Mia stepped in to finish and finalize the missing pieces and designed the book. She is also my 2nd book’s designer and we are very aligned working together. I wanted to thank her.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Besides the two important lessons mentioned above. The book outlines the main themes of the book at the back. Such as

Be proud of who you are, your beliefs and embrace your identities.
Respect and be kind to everyone including to those who are different from you.
Be brave and stand up for yourself.
Don’t shy away from sharing what you go through. It’s ok to share you feelings to your family and friends.
Get to know someone before judging them.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Yes. I just released my 2nd children’s book titled “Oh, No …Hacked Again!” It’s a story teaching children the importance of online safety and sparking interest for young readers to pursue the field of STEM esp. cybersecurity as a future career option.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

What happens when curious children speculate about Iman’s hijab?
“Is she bald?”
“Is her hair dirty?”
There is a fine line between curiosity and ridicule.
Iman must find courage to face the school children.
Proud in Her Hijab is a story that empowers and uplifts girls who choose to wear a hijab while encouraging friendship and respect.
If you are looking for a hijab story of inspiration & courage for your children and loved ones, look no further.

This book is for you!
“A relatable tale of pride and identity that is paired neatly with colorful and expressive illustrations. The summary of themes at the end of the book is a good review for younger readers, and offers a chance for conversation and discussion for parents reading with a child. Kemal has crafted a heartwarming and practical book that elevates kindness, patience, understanding, and cultural sensitivity, which is an essential message for any faith.” Self-Publishing Review

Proud in Her Hijab

Iman is teased at lunch one day by her classmates that do not understand what the hijab is and what it means. She goes home really upset and tells her family what happened. Iman’s mother, sister, and brother validate her feelings and help her see how she is not odd and has no reason to be ashamed of her hijab. They have a long conversation about each of their differences and how they each feel about their different hairstyles. Her mother reminds her that doing hair together is part of their family bonding and traditions.

Proud in Her Hijab: A Story of Family Strength, Empowerment, and Identity is a heartwarming picture book that will not only educate but help young girls feel confident in their choices. While this story focuses on a young Muslim girl wearing her hijab, the message does apply to all children because everyone is unique.

Author Zinet Kemal has written a beautiful children’s book in a way that is conversational, easy to understand, and relatable to children in elementary school. Kemal delicately approaches a difficult topic. Rather than just brushing it off after the family talks, Iman confronts her classmates to educate them and let them know their behavior is hurtful. Iman learns to take pride in her identity and speak up for herself, this is a great message to pass on to young children, especially girls.

This colorful picture book is illustrated by Mia Hay. The illustrations are bold and bright, and the characters are brought to life through these striking images. The combination of the fantastic illustrations and Kemal’s description of the hijab will draw in young readers and encourage them to learn more.

Proud in Her Hijab: A Story of Family Strength, Empowerment, and Identity is a well-conceived and educational picture book for young readers. This is an excellent resource for teachers and parents to teach about diversity and inclusion, different cultures, and kindness.

Pages: 36 | ASIN : B099NX1GTV

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