Helping North-east school pupils stay safe online

Last week Digital World joined forces with Cyber Safe Scotland (CSC) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) to host an event designed to help children learn more about online personal protection while also promoting careers in cyber security.

Pupils from Cults, Oldmachar, Harlaw and Turriff academies were taught how to sharpen their programming skills so they could better protect themselves in the virtual world, while also learning more about the real world job opportunities in the cyber sector.

Annabel Turner, CEO of SCS, said: “Over the session, the children coded a chat room together, and looked at what type of language was likely to attract predatory attention. It’s only by having a real, honest look at how online predators operate, like this, that we can truly protect our children.

“I think there’s a lot of ignorance about the scale of the problem in Scotland. For example, Operation Lattise by Police Scotland in 2016 recovered more than 30 million images of abuse in just a six-week period.”

Debbie McCutcheon, who looks after the cyber skills programme for Digital World, added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Cyber Safe Scotland, RGU, the schools and the pupils for making this event such a success. Online safety is so important nowadays, but it’s essential that we teach our young people about online protection in an inspiring and engaging way.

“And once they learn the digital skill needed to stay safe in the virtual world, many are inspired to pursue course choices, and careers, related to the field of cyber security in the real world.

“Cyber related skills are very much in demand, and cyber security is one of the fastest growing professions in the country right now. We need to make sure our young talent are ready and able to make the most of that opportunity.

“Events like this help them do just that.”