Startup Disrupt, in cooperation with the initiation Educator, on the 25th of February 2021 organized an online conference on Digital Safety and its importance within the Czech education system. As part of the program, leading personalities from the digital education environment discussed the biggest problems related to internet activity – cyberbullying, internet predation, or the protection of personal data.
The Educator project aims to change the Czech education system and adapt it to the 21st century. You can watch a recording of more than two hours of a busy schedule with lots of interesting guests, such as Julia Szymańska from Avast, E-Bezpečí project manager Kamil Kopecký or Marie Mališková from O2 Chystrá škola, via the links below.
Teaching digital safety
Before the first panel discussion, we heard Radek Sáblík’s keynote. Radko Sáblík is the director of Smíchov high school, a graduate of engineering studies at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University, a bachelor’s degree in teaching technical subjects at the Masaryk Institute at ČVUT, a managerial study for principals at the Faculty of Education, Charles University, and is one of the best people to present digital security teaching at schools in the Czech Republic. One of the ideas that were raised was, for example, the controversy over the readiness of schools to use technology safely in distance learning. The COVID-19 pandemic brought daily use of modern technology to schools and forced teachers and school heads to think about what is key.
The panel discussion Digital Safety Teaching, moderated by Michal Horáček from Microsoft, was intended to raise awareness of teaching and the approach of schools to digital literacy. The discussion raised the question of what to focus more on in the future and what to look out for.
Marie Mališková from the O2 Chytrá škola also joined the controversy over the readiness of schools to use technology safely in distance learning: “Digital technologies have appeared in schools thanks to, or because of, COVID-19, but we do not know if we are prepared for them from a security point of view, which actually follows the idea of our O2 Chtrá škola program, with which we are trying to digitalize education. The question is – are schools prepared for this in a way of security?”
Responsible behavior on the network and other work with our personal data, long-term education of parents, teachers, and children, the durability of all published information or conscious activity on the network – this and much more was debated during the panel discussion.
What advice from speakers has been heard?
- Do not click on everything. It is important to know how our personal data is handled in the long term. Transparency on the part of internet websites and verification of resources is essential.
- Avoid unsecured networks. If this is not necessary, connecting to unsecured networks should be something we should avoid.
- Password generation and two-step verification. Protecting private data is strongly associated with the use of passwords. If your page or website offers a password generation option, definitely consider that option. Using easily discoverable passwords is not safe.
- Prevent threats and think critically. Pavel Amler from HAVEL&PARTNERS also commented on the topic: “This principle will certainly be confirmed by other speakers – once there is something on the Internet, you will never get rid of it. In general, you only have the right to delete the search result, but it will be very difficult to force the service provider or someone who stores the content to delete it if there is a criminal level. If you put something on the Internet, you’ll never delete it again.”
In the second half of the program, the topic of threats on the Internet was followed up. The Internet Predators debate was moderated by Startup Disrupt CEO Patrik Juránek and speakers include Kamil Kopecký, Martin Kožíšek, Petr Chaloupka, Martin Fejfárek and Julia Szymańska.
Many times there has been mention of the film V síti, which recently resonated with Czech society. The film deals with the issue of child endangerment on social media, but it is often forgotten that the problem concerns not only girls but also teenage boys. The term internet predator has been around for a long time, but modern times and technology are increasingly recording this, and the number and brutality of attacks are increasing.
Julia Szymańska from Avast (Project Buď safe online) also came closer to the topic of internet predation thanks to the film V síti: “I got to the topic the moment we started talking to Vít Klusák and his crew about how the film V síti is created and how we could support this project. In the end, we became the main partner of this awareness campaign.”
The basis for prevention is good communication and trust in the family environment, supporting the environment between loved ones, and the education of parents, children, and teachers.
What basic advice from speakers has been heard?
- Building a relationship with a child. Communication and building trust is key. Complete bans on the Internet and social networks do not help – it is important to understand and work with it, and have a good and open conversation with your child about their online world.
- Once we put something on the Internet, we will never delete it again. When publishing intimate content and personal data, we should bear in mind that everything can be tracked back and found out. Caution first!
- React calmly. Parents should remain calm and respond to a possible problem without emotions. If necessary, one solution is to contact the appropriate authorities and organizations. Martin Fejfárek from FFK Legal described the resolution process: “The case gets on the table of a common criminologist who is not a technology expert, but really an investigator who has a clear agenda.” Fejfárek added that clearly demonstrable and available evidence facilitates the work of the investigator.
- The Internet as a tool for development. The demonization of social networks and the Internet is not necessary. Children and young people should use the Internet for personal education and creative activities.