Why the Czech Safer Internet Centre is working with seniors

Everybody working in the field of the online crime prevention knows how difficult it is to work with families. We are able to address children - our main target group - directly during the events organized for them or via teachers equipped by our handbook and other supporting material. But what about parents? It is difficult to reach them - first of all those who care less about the virtual life of their children. They are not interested in special workshops nor education in this field. Fathers and mothers feel often ashamed to talk to their children about the sensitive online issues because children are handier with the internet. What about grandparents?

Czech Safer Internet Centre got an opportunity to start a project focused on education of seniors one year ago. A pilot project supported by the grant of the Czech ministry of social care mapped possibilities to educate seniors and to invite them to become volunteers spreading out the safer internet knowledge to their peers. Special courses for Cyber Silver Ambassadors have been developed, and the work with seniors started.  The dedicated web site was launched on http://seniori.bezpecne-online.cz/.

This year the project has been extended thanks to the grant of the Municipality of Prague. An online platform was developed and a course were completed with new topics covering the main areas of the online crime prevention. Based on the gathered experiences it was concluded that old people are interested in self education in the area of safer use of the internet. And even more – they like to work in this area with their families, i.e. with their children and grand-children. This way we are able to reach also the families which are almost not reachable in a traditional way. Of course – it is still just beginning but we think – it is worth the efforts!

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