CyGen Conference: Safe internet for young people

21st May 2019

Diepenbeek, Belgium

The theme of the event was safe internet for young people. The CyGEN project was extensively presented by Ruben Jans. He is involved in the project as a researcher, and was responsible for the development of the online game, among other things. During the project he worked closely with pupils from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece and Belgium.The agenda for the conference can be downloaded here.

The first presentation on the CyGen project was intended as an informative presentation, followed by the presentation of research data from the project. These research data were used to start a conversation with the participants. This was also appreciated by the participants, so that they could also share their own experiences with the whole group.

In addition, the Cybersimpel.be project was also presented. This is an initiative of Google and Test-Aankoop, with the support of the Center for Cyber Security Belgium, Federal Public Service for Home Affairs, Child Focus, Digital Belgium, Belgium Police, Bibliotheek zonder Grenzen. (http://www.cybersimpel.be)

One of the components of the project is ‘Cyber Hero’. Being a Cyber Hero empowers younger children to use the web safely and wisely, so they can be confident explorers of the online world. This toolkit was extensively discussed and shown. The participants also had the opportunity to work hands-on themselves. (https://www.cybersimpel.be/en/cyberheroes)

The online world sometimes offers more questions than answers. That’s why we thought it was important to invite organizations like AWEL vzw to present. AWEL is a free service for young people between 6 and 25 years old. Contacting Awel is anonymous. A theme that often comes up is Cyberbullying.

The event ended with a ‘Safe internet’ workshop. An employee of Child Focus explained apps. She not only talked about possible threats to apps, but also about how to deal with them as a teacher or parent. Child focus is a very well-known organization in Belgium and is supported by the government. (https://www.childfocus.be/nl/preventie/clicksafe-veilig-internetten)