"If we want to make the most of the digital era, it is essential we equip EU citizens with the knowledge and skills to protect and empower themselves online. The most avid users, young people, are also the most vulnerable. It is our shared responsibility to give them opportunities to explore, learn, and become responsible users of new technologies - safely. Cyber Security Month aims to do just that - join our learning modules this October and support #SaferInternet4EU!" – Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
This initiative stems from the Digital Education Action Plan, which sets out a series of initiatives to support citizens, educational institutions and education systems to better adapt to life and work in an age of rapid digital change. It is also part of the #SaferInternet4EU campaign, launched during Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018 by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.
Hans Martens, Digital Citizenship Programme Manager at European Schoolnet and Coordinator of the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres in Europe, said: "European Schoolnet is delighted to be involved in the ‘Get Cyber Skilled' campaign as an aspect of European Cyber Security Month. Online security is increasingly seen as an important component of online safety, and our collaboration with ENISA on this learning event for teachers, delivered through the eTwinning platform, allows us to further disseminate the expertise developed within the Insafe network. By skilling educators on topics such as effective password security, privacy and good data management principles - and supporting them to deliver key messages in the classroom - we can in turn encourage children and young people to develop good cyber hygiene practices to draw upon throughout their lives, helping to protect both themselves and others online."
The "Get Cyber Skilled" campaign will launch on Monday, 8 October 2018 and run until Monday, 22 October 2018. Learning modules will be hosted on the eTwinning Learning Lab, and some of its resources will subsequently be made available on the ECSM website also. The aim of the campaign is to help educators – and others – to advance the cybersecurity skills and education of younger generations in order to help them stay safe online. Children face many threats online, such as ransomware, social engineering, cyberbullying, sexting, grooming and sextortion, among others.
These threats can have long-lasting physical, emotional and financial consequences for children and young people. Therefore it is essential to better protect them online, by encouraging them to build up good cyber hygiene habits. Nurturing cybersecurity skills helps individuals to defend themselves online, enabling them to become more resilient, self-reliant and confident. People with cybersecurity skills can also have a positive impact by protecting the more vulnerable members of society.
The learning modules will enable participants to create a class study plan for password management, backing up data, privacy settings, and how to protect against social engineering attacks. Participants will be able to test their own cybersecurity skills and knowledge by taking the ECSM Network and Information Security (NIS) quiz, and by following the latest cybersecurity trends in ENISA info-notes or in regional cybersecurity-related events. A pool of resources from European Schoolnet, the eTwinning platform, Safer Internet Centres (SICs), the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign, National Cybersecurity Centres, the ECSM website, and the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) platform will also be made available.