A number of speakers and youth panellists contributed to the Safer Internet Day conference in Cyprus
Aiming to foster responsibility and respect, as well as promoting a critical and creative use of the internet in our lives, the conference focused on reminding everyone – including the state, educators, decision-makers working on digital issues, parents, young people and children – that it is our duty to make the internet a better and safer place for communication, entertainment and learning. During this year’s conference, hundreds of classes from schools all over Cyprus connected; it’s estimated that over 4,000 students of primary, secondary general and secondary technical, and vocational education attended the conference, along with teachers and parents.
The conference was addressed by Dr Athena Michaelidou, Director of the Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, followed by interesting suggestions on the safe and responsible use of the internet, as well as information on the prospects of its creative utilisation, but also how to deal with potential challenges and risks.
Dr George Kormas, representative of the Greek Safer Internet Centre, and Mr Marios Athanasiou, a well-known actor, referred to the challenges of being online, especially during the COVID era, focusing on issues such as excessive use, online games and our general behaviour on the internet, which should be governed by respect.
Dr Linda Papadopoulos, originally from Cyprus and now an author and psychologist in the UK with a particular interested in the safe use of the internet, suggested good practices to students and parents, stressing the need for its proper and balanced use.
Moreover, seminar participants had the opportunity to watch Dr Anastasia N. Katsaounidou’s presentation, who is a reporter and researcher at the organisation Ellinika HOAXES. Dr Katsaounidou referred to the phenomenon of online misinformation, fact-finding teams (Ellinika Hoaxes), and the need to activate the researcher inside all of us.
Finally, members of the CYberSafety Youth Panel, along with Dr Thanasis Hadzilakos, Professor of Information Systems at the Open University of Cyprus, referred to the need to resist misinformation on the internet, which is spreading like the pandemic. The youth of the CYberSafety Youth Panel presented their new project "ANTIbodies in Misinformation", in which members of panel will act as ANTIbodies in misinformation through a range of related actions (such as presentations and information materials).
More information about the online conference can be found on the Safer Internet Centre website, while a recording of the event is available on YouTube.
Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Cyprus. Alternatively, find out more about the work of the Cyprus Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.