This week, on the 5th of February the world celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID 2013) and this was the 10th year the event has been run. Safer Internet Day promotes safer and more responsible use of internet and mobile phones and specifically targets children and young adults.

Templar Executives teamed up with Cyber Champions to deliver workshops to over 150 school children at Hammersmith Academy and St Marylebone School in Westminster. Cyber Champions is a social enterprise that promotes best practice in digital literacy and online safety awareness to schools, youth organisations and internet groups across the UK. The programme is delivered by young professional volunteers who are motivated to make a difference.

Children’s digital literacy today is astounding – they are digital natives and therefore the internet is first nature to them. However, of course with new opportunities come new threats. Schools are taking responsibility for raising e-safety awareness but having an outsider come into school and discuss online safety is having a profound impact.

“Cyber Champions is a valuable initiative headed up by young professionals, who the students can relate to and feel comfortable discussing the issues surrounding e-safety. This scheme has encouraged students to think about their privacy settings, what they post online, what to look out for and importantly what their digital footprint is and how to change it. I’m a big fan!”Waheeda Shaikh, Teacher, St Marylebone School, Westminster.

The Cyber Champion workshops were received with intrigue from students and sparked a lot of discussion and sharing of experience and advice. What we have found from teachers is that students are more willing to ask a young professional online safety questions than they would their teachers and parents.

When delivering workshops it is important to emphasise the importance of open communication between children and their support network as well as raising awareness of how to protect themselves online. Online malicious activities targeting children are more prevalent today so it is vital children understand the risks, but also are aware of whom to turn if they were targeted.

But remember, children aren’t the only group who are targeted by online attacks. Online banking fraud, social media hacking and phishing attacks are all tactics used by criminals to target individuals. Protecting passwords, being aware of what a phishing attack is, and knowing your privacy or security settings are easy things you can do to protect yourself online.

For more information about being safe online go to:

If you would like Cyber Champions to run a workshop in your local area go to:

And if you feel your organisation would benefit from Cyber Awareness training contact us