The use of the Internet can hide traps even for a group as integrated in the digital society as the call is Generation Z, those born between 1994 and 2010. The bullying or abuse, the illicit use of personal data and the approach of malicious adults are some of the dangers young people face if they do not take the proper precautions when using new technologies, according to experts. To educate this generation to make safe use of the network and take advantage of the opportunities it offers, Facebook and Cibervoluntarios Foundation, in collaboration with different public organizations, have launched a program of workshops and online resources for 11,000 teenagers, parents and teachers.
"We want young people to learn to identify the weaknesses, the threats and also the strengths of the tools they use," said Yolanda Rueda, president of Fundación Cibervoluntarios. This non-profit organization aims to reduce social gaps and increase the active participation of citizens in the digital society. The new program is aimed at adolescents between 14 and 18 years old. "It's about young people who want to participate, not just receive a talk. The important thing is that they are active agents in this process ", said Rueda.
The project, called GeneraZion, provides two types of workshops. The first is for students in 3rd and 4th year of ESO and 1st and 2nd year of Bachilllerato and will have sessions of one and a half hours. The second is designed for parents and teachers of these young people and will have sessions of two hours. The goal declared by the organizers is to reach 11,000 people this year in 14 provinces of five autonomous communities (Andalusia, Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid, Valencian Community). The start of the courses is scheduled for the second half of February.
On February 5, International Safe Internet Day, the page will be activated on the web www.generaZion.org, which will allow schools and other interested users to receive information about the complete program and request to participate in it. In addition, GeneraZión also includes the launch of a web platform to support the training given in the workshops. This page, called Reto Z, "is like an interactive game," says Rueda, which allows adolescents to be made aware of the risks and opportunities of the Network by "putting them in an attractive situation".
"We want young people to learn to identify the weaknesses, the threats and also the strengths of the tools they use"
The new cybersecurity project for adolescents has been presented this Thursday in Zone from Facebook, a new center of Mark Zuckerberg's company inaugurated in Madrid last November. This initiative is aimed at promoting the digital competences of citizens in the economic and social field and aims to work with companies, public bodies and users in general. GeneraZión is the first project promoted in Spain by the technological giant in the social area. Zone from Facebook it also has a program of transversal action between economy and society aimed at women.
Natalia Basterrechea, Director of Public Affairs of Facebook Spain and Portugal, stated that GeneraZion's goal is to "physically reach the classrooms and the people" and that is why it is essential to collaborate with Fundación Cibervoluntarios, which has been working on this issue for years. Basterrechea added that Facebook already acts in different parts of the world together with 300 organizations dedicated to cybersecurity, of which many are focused on the minors. He also assured that Zona From Facebook plans to train 80,000 people in Spain in terms of digital skills.
Recommendations for parents
The event was also attended by Ana Santos, responsible for the program for minors of the National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE), public body that supports the GeneraZion project. Santos has affirmed that many of the requests of help of the parents declare that they do not know how to include the dangers of the Network to which their children are exposed. "Today we still need to move from awareness to action. As citizens and professionals we have to deal with our security, how we have our services and profiles and how we manage our devices, "he said. For this, he has maintained, we must dedicate time to take confidence with the new technologies.
Throughout the day, other experts also participated in the responsible use of the Internet. Among them was María Zabala, a consultant in the field of digital education, who has affirmed that the minors should not be judged, but treated. "As parents, we have to help our children get the most out of the technologies and discover their potential," he said. "We can not expect them to live our childhood, but theirs."