In one of the rooms, some of best professionals in the country made presentations to parents, teachers and fellow experts. At the same time, in the other lecture hall the children, supported by mentors, took part in interactive tasks related to the smart use of the internet. Furthermore, the ceremonial announcement of the results of the Lego building and the short video competition was one of the highlights of the day.
The ICSS co-organised the annual SID celebrations of this year along with the Institute of Cyber Security. Besides the two co-organisers, the Hungarian partners of SID included: OTP Bank, Telekom Hungary, Microsoft Hungary, National Cyber Security Centre Hungary, Google, the Prosecution Service of Hungary, the Hungarian Police, the Digital Trade Association, the Digital Lions Club, Fortix Consulting Ltd. and Quadron Cybersecurity Ltd.
The event of the day was opened by Péter Edvi, the founding president of the International Children’s Safety Service. He emphasised in his speech that establishing the SID was extremely important, because it was time to take responsibility and action of the direction in which the internet is developing, and facing the areas that require the protection of children and families. He pointed out the importance of including rules about the internet and IT in the national curricula.
The guests were welcomed by Csaba Krasznay, who was the host of the event. He is also the head of the Institute of Cyber Security and an associate professor. He stated that since children are starting to use their own digital devices at an increasingly young age, digital safety education should be started sooner, it should be almost compulsory in lower elementary schools. Csaba Krasznay then gave a presentation on "Cybersecurity in social media, or good advice for both active and less active TikTok/Instagram/YouTube/Facebook users".
Péter Szabó (Managing Director of Microsoft Hungary) gave a presentation on "Education, awareness, responsibility – Keeping children safe online and in the digital world”.
Ádám Ruszcsák (Cyber security consultant at Telekom Hungary) asked what we should do in case we are afraid that our child engages in suspicious online activity or is involved in cybercrime.
Enikő Bereczki (intergenerational and mental health expert at generationdilemmas.com) spoke about the impact of social media on children’s and young people’s self-esteem and body image. According to her, the constant stimuli often lead teenagers to compare themselves to models and influencers and they are anxious frequently. She gave emphasis on the generational aspect that is implied, because these issues mainly affect generation Z youngsters, as they are the ones who have been mostly left alone in the online space by their parents.
Tatjána Turányi (Education Consultant on Cyberpsychology and Cybersecurity Awareness at Quadron Cybersecurity Services) also pointed out the importance of a responsible internet use. She advised the following two things: check your own internet habits and view your screen time report. Then do the same with your child and understand their needs. You should develop a set of rules and time limits together, and remember to reward the kids for sticking to them.
According to Zoltán Szabó (Information Technology Security Specialist at Fortix Consulting Ltd.) the secret to achieving a safer internet experience lies in communication, education and security awareness. Our future depends on the younger age groups being prepared for the security challenges posed by the internet use. To achieve this result, the help of professionals, teachers and parents is essential.
György Kálmán (Information Security Advisor at OTP Digital Division) drew attention to the potential danger of smartwatches with tracking devices for children. He said that these watches contained unknown factors that could have been used easily against the wearer by attackers. For example, they could be used to track children’s geolocation or even falsify their position as seen by their parents.
Other speakers and presenters at the event were Anna dr. Balogh (Prosecutor at the Prosecution Service of Hungary), György Szigeti (Head of Division at the Hungarian police), Tamás Kiss (Head of Department delegated to the National Cyber Security Centre Hungary).
Safer Internet Day 2023 was not only of interest for education professionals, teachers and parents, it also included exciting quizzes, games and surprises for children. The winners of the Lego building were invited, and a short video competition took part in a multi-round internet safety game under the guidance of mentors. In five teams, the children completed activities based on the modules of the Be Internet Awesome curriculum, e. g. with quizzes, storytelling, cyber activity, word search or a room escape game. The mentors were: Tamás Boros (the National Cyber Security Centre Hungary), Zsombor Fekete (Digital Lions Club), Tamás Tossenberger and Dorottya Bohus (Google Hungary), Zita Vadász (Digital Trade Association), Bernadett Molnár and Miklós Ungvári (OTP Bank). The children and young people present really enjoyed the creative activities.
The most awaited moment of the day was the ceremonial announcement of the results of the competitions and the awarding of gifts. Smart glasses, power banks, Bluetooth speakers, wireless headphones and mouse were put into the winners’ backpacks. Two country-wide competitions related to the celebration of this milestone event, had previously been launched. The contestants could choose to create either a short video or build a scene with Lego bricks based on Google’s Interland online game. For the Lego building contest, 81 constructions were submitted, and 29 were the entries submitted for the short film competition.
Safer Internet Day 2023 was a memorable day for all participants.
Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Hungary. Alternatively, find more information about the work of the Hungarian Safer Internet Centre, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for other Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.