Ensuring safety online Department of ICT Policy and Innovation, Ministry of National Security, Government of Bermuda In Bermuda, Cybertips is an initiative run by the government Department of ICT Policy and Innovation (IPI), within the Ministry of National Security. Cybertips routinely visits schools, youth organizations and community events to help provide Bermudian students with the necessary knowledge and skills to use the internet safely. For a while, IPI noted the increasing need for an Island-wide campaign to inform but also train students on how to actively face issues relating to financial fraud, identity theft, cyberbullying and other issues one faces when online. Cybertips, as an initiative, committed to training Bermuda’s students on how to be up-standers and, with the help of its Student Committee, led the development and conception of the Digital Leadership Conference which took place on May 7th earlier this year and hosted over 600 Bermudian students. Students participated in panels and workshops that were developed by the Student Committee in collaboration with IPI. Said Committee was comprised of student representatives of different ages and from multiple schools. The Committee identified key areas that were affecting Bermuda’s young people and designed panels and workshops that were best-suited to tackle these ongoing issues. Each panel was composed of various professional subject-matter experts from across the Island, who volunteered to help educate the students about the legal, emotional and physical implications of the identified digital issues, such as cyberbullying. The Conference therefore hosted experts from various sectors including law enforcement, education, social services, health care, and child protective services. A Digital Leadership magazine was developed for the conference where members of the Student Committee and various panellists wrote about the various ways that social media, cyberbullying, and video games may affect a student’s life. The magazine did not neglect some of the benefits of technology and discussed them at length, serving as a resource for more in-depth information on specific topics, experiences and issues that may not have been broached during the conference itself. The Hon. Wayne Caines, JP, MP, the Minister of National Security, not only gave a gripping presentation about the negative effects of social media, but also provided insight into how students can leverage their knowledge to enhance their online experience. A positive perspective about social media let the students see that by adopting healthy internet-use practices, they could expand their opportunities for scholarships, schools, and careers. Importantly, Deana Puccio co-founder of the RAP Project, was one of the contributors for the magazine as well as keynote speaker for the Conference, providing valuable insight into the global impact that social media misuse and digital issues have on society, especially on young people. A former Senior Assistant District Attorney from Brooklyn, New York, Deana developed The RAP Project, Raising Awareness & Prevention Project. The programme is designed to empower students with personal online safety skills. After giving her keynote presentation, Deana helped lead several workshops such as Piggy in the Middle where the students were offered various scenarios depicting being stuck between two friends fighting, and were asked how they would respond. The final student workshop of the Conference focused on student feedback and asked students what they would like to see at the following year’s conference, what advice should be given to their parents and guardians, and what parents and educators can do to establish themselves as trusted adults. After the end of the school day, students were dismissed and the Conference switched gears: it was time to talk to the adults. The first evening panel allowed educators and mentors to ask the panellists about what warning signs to look out for, how to help someone being bullied and the protocol to follow if their child or a young person they cared about was found to be cyberbullied. Afterwards, the Parent and Community panel discussed the various ways they could protect their children, what parental controls they can implement, and other similar topics. Using the student feedback garnered earlier allowed the moderators to guide the discussion to, for instance, reasons why children might not feel comfortable talking to their parents if they encounter anything online that made them uncomfortable. While cyberbullying and other digital issues that affect young people are not going to disappear overnight, the Digital Leadership Conference helped to inform residents in Bermuda about the dangers lurking online and the different ways they can help ensure young people stay safe online. Thanks to the 2018 Digital Citizenship Conference, the participating students -true digital natives- will be empowered to make positive online choices, seek help when necessary and understand that the decisions they make today can impact their lives and the lives of others for years to come. As change agents and leaders in their own circles, they will be mentored by local professionals in various areas of technology, law, mental health and community awareness. Thanks to the 2018 Digital Citizenship Conference, the participating students - true digital natives - will be empowered to make positive online choices

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