European Cybersecurity Month (ESCM): Tips for young people

06.10.2023 - For children and young people, the so-called digital natives, surfing the internet is a normal part of their daily lives. The internet opens doors for them that previous generations never even dared to dream of – but the internet also harbours dangers. Young people in particular are often more trusting than adults. This can make them easy targets for criminals, who exploit this trust for their own personal gain through social engineering.

Children and young people spend a large part of their free time online, whether doing homework, writing messages, socialising or playing games. Since a considerable amount of their social interactions takes place on the internet, children and young people are vulnerable to manipulation on the internet, i.e. social engineering.

One example is catfishing: criminals take advantage of young people's desire for acceptance and affirmation. They create fake social media accounts to pose as influencers or celebrities and then persuade children and young people to do things that threaten their privacy, safety or personal values.

Education and awareness are crucial to mitigate the negative impact social engineering can have on young people. Parents, schools, clubs and youth work, for example, can make an important contribution to teaching digital literacy, critical thinking and safe online practices. Open communication about online experiences and encouraging healthy scepticism can help young people to recognise and defend themselves against social engineering tactics.

To raise awareness among young people during this year's European Cybersecurity Month, Switzerland is taking a special approach. The NCSC, together with the Netpathie and Freakidz associations, used the ENISA campaign song for a dance video. In preparing the choreography, the young people involved dealt with the topic of online manipulation and their own limits in a creative way.

Tips and lessons from the dance video:

  • Protect yourself and your data!
  • Take time to have a close look!
  • Be suspicious, even online!
  • Be cautious about publishing personal information!

Be smarter than a hacker - Dance video

Further information

Last modification 06.10.2023

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