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2,500 Children Across Bulgaria Underwent Online Safety Trainings in 2018

December 18, 2018
2,500 Children Across Bulgaria Underwent Online Safety Trainings in 2018

More than 2,500 children from 28 schools in 15 Bulgarian cities completed successfully online safety trainings in 2018. They were conducted within the Cyber Scout Programme, organised by the Safer Internet Centre and Telenor, and as part of Dr OhZabi Initiative. The Cyber Scout programme is being held for the fourth consecutive year and aims to raise the awareness of students, their teachers and parents of the Internet risks a ways of overcoming them. The participants in the educational activities acquire knowledge and practical skills for safe use of the Internet and mobile communications, which they then pass on to their peers.

"97% of children in Bulgaria are Internet users and 93% of them access the global network every day or almost every day, mainly using social media. Studies also show that more than 30% of the children in the past year have received messages in the digital space that have worried them, with only a third of them sharing it with their parents", said Georgi Apostolov, coordinator of the Safer Internet Centre. "That is why the Cyber Scout programme is so important to us and we are glad that we have been able to train so many children in 2018. This way we do not prevent them expressing themselves, but we introduce and prepare them for the risks the online space hides and teach them how to take advantage of the tools available to increase their safety and help their peers in risky situations", he added.

Within the programme, students from across the country undergo a two-day interactive training where, through quizzes, discussions, teamwork tasks, and real-world simulations, they learn about the online risks as well as about the tools to prevent themselves and to respond to a specific danger. The second part of the training is entirely devoted to two other important skills: what to advise a peer who has found himself/herself in an unpleasant situation online and how to pass on to his/her classmates the new knowledge and skills they receive during the training. In order to acquire these skills, children participate in simulation games and discuss possible reactions and approaches, as well as offer various activities to help the cyber scouts pass on their knowledge - campaigns, videos, presentations, posters, brochures, short plays and more.

Upon completion of the training, cyber scouts have the "peer-to-peer" task to promote among adolescents between the ages of 9 and 15 the main risks on the internet and the ways to deal with them. Thus, the programme multiplies its effect and reaches a larger number of teenagers, preparing them for the risks of sharing personal information on the Internet and ways to safely surf and communicate online.

“Dr. OhZabi”, a field clinic for children's mobile devices, is an initiative through which experts from the National Safer Internet Centre screen the security of mobile devices and give additional instructions to teenagers and their parents how to protect themselves. In 2018, the initiative was held eight times in five cities during various events for children and parents.

Telenor is a leading telecommunication services provider with more than 3.1 million active users in Bulgaria. As of August 1, 2018, Telenor Bulgaria, along with Telenor Hungary and Telenor Serbia & Montenegro are part of PPF Group.

PPF Group invests in multiple market segments such as banking and financial services, telecommunications, biotechnology, insurance, real estate, and agriculture. PPF’s reach spans

from Europe to Russia, Asia and North America. PPF’s assets under management totaled to almost EUR 38 billion (as at 30 June 2018).

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