Placing a focus on youth and cybercrime on SID 2018

  • Awareness
  • 16/03/2018
  • Dutch Safer Internet Centre

Safer Internet Day (SID) was celebrated on Tuesday, 6 February 2018, right across the globe. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Safer Internet Centre (SIC) placed a focus on youth and cybercrime as part of a range of activities and initiatives.

Youth and cybercrime
1 in 6 Dutch youngsters have committed a cybercrime, whether intentional or not. For youth aged 16-17, this percentage is 33 per cent. This applies to activities such as hacking, pretending to be someone else to gain confidential information, threatening people online or downloading films without paying for them. Of the group of 16-17 year olds, nearly 14 per cent has hacked or would consider it if the opportunity presented itself. This new study was presented on Safer Internet Day 2018 and formed the starting point for a week full of attention to this, and other subjects, focusing on creating a better internet for kids.
Young hackers
"Hacking usually starts as experimental for young people, often just for the thrill of it", says Marjolijn Bonthuis of the Safer Internet Centre in the Netherlands. "The study shows that the majority of young people know that hacking is punishable, but the sense of challenge wins in that moment. What are the odds of being caught anyway? You often remain unnoticed until something eventually goes wrong. The consequences can be severe. We want to show young hackers that they have a lot to offer our society with their unique talents, such as with cybercrime prevention."
Not the right help
18-year-old Zawadi Done, application developer and ethical hacker, says that he wouldn't have made a positive switch without the right help. "I noticed about a year ago that my online skills were much more developed than anyone else I knew, and I kept taking things a step further. I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but at the same time I didn't know where to turn with my questions or information about a security leak, for example."
Keep them on the good side
On 13 February 2018 – at the close of Safer Internet Day celebrations in the Netherlands – a discussion, or so called "Hack Talk", was held with ethical hackers (both young and old), the Police Force and the Public Prosecutions Department regarding how young hackers can be kept on the "good side" and which consequences juvenile offenders should face. Young people who have hacked can turn to the website for tips and guidance, for example about responsible disclosure.
In a workshop prior to the Hack Talk, different experts – "old" hackers, the Police Force and so on – decided to combine forces to educate youth, parents and teachers about hack talent and how to use this talent wisely. Safer Internet Centre Netherlands will initiate and help with the practical follow up.
Other Safer Internet Day activities in the Netherlands included:
  • #AVGHaveyoursay
    213 Dutch children, aged 11-16 years old, could have their say about the imminent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the risks this new legislation may bring. The results were also presented during a meeting in Prague.
  • Study on children's digital competence (Digitale vaardigheden van kinderen)
    The need to integrate digital competence into education has been voiced by government, educators and the business community, among others. SIDN presented new study results to parents and educators regarding children's digital competence.
  • Bendoo Arduino Box for primary schools
    Thanks to a collaboration between Reshift Digital, Creative Kids Concepts (CKC) and SIDN, 2,700 primary schools will receive the new Bendoo Arduino Box technical lessons package.
    With the support of organisations such as, VodafoneZiggo developed the free lesson programme VodafoneZiggo employees will visit various schools in the Netherlands to present the educational programme.
  • Launch of new online file "Je kind online" (Your child online)
    This new resource (in Dutch) has been made available on the Dutch Consumers' Association (Consumentenbond) website with practical information for parents looking to "child proof" their family's online experience. It includes guides for improved privacy settings, blocking in-app purchases and limiting screen time.
  • Performance for youth
    During the week of Safer Internet Day celebrations, various schools hosted performances for youth addressing experiences coupled with friendships, peer pressure, exclusion, bullying and how these experiences are influenced by social media.
  • MediaMasters Club: Safe internet
    As part of Safer Internet Day 2018, a MediaMasters Club with the theme "Safe Internet" launched for year groups 7 and 8 at primary schools. Participation is free after registration. MediaMasters is an initiative from, the Dutch network for digital literacy. For more information and registration, visit
  • Interactive workshop for teachers
    Teachers were given the opportunity to learn about the current state of affairs surrounding internet security and cyber security, complemented by practical exercises for participants through a workshop provided by IBM and Kivi.
See the Dutch Safer Internet Day profile page for further information.
Find out more about the work of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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