Empowering the youth to function safely in Cyber Space

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for government and local citizens, with the push for universal access to the Internet, the increasing use of social networks and the growing reliance on digital services, and given a growing range of threats from criminals. People around the world are becoming increasingly connected with smart devices. Sending and receiving massive amounts of data back and forth, we rely on the transfer and storage of data on a daily basis. Hackers and cyber attackers know this and know how steal data for their profit.

On the 6th of February 2018 Western Cape CoLab began its initiative of enlightening communities, especial youth, about the risks that come with operating in the cyber space. On the day the CoLab hosted first of its Digital Identity Management workshops, 25 high school learners attended a Digital Identity Management workshop. It was held in Gugulethu Kwezi Recreation Centre. The second workshop was on the 2nd of March 2018, were 24 youth delegates attendees. On the 23rd of March 2018, hosted a 3rd workshop with the youth development organization named Beyond Environmental Expectation Project (BEEP) in Philipi, were a total of 44 out of school youth attended. And on the 3rd of April 2018, hosted the 4th workshop at Samora with youth in art organisation named Ubuntubethu a total 34 both in school and out of school youth attended.

The workshop is organised and facilitated by a local based NPO called Usibaloluntu, which is the partner and one of the Western Cape Colab’s stakeholders. Usibaloluntu focuses in empowering young people around Cape Town townships communities with digital skills and providing after school tutorial classes to help youth shape a better future and take up careers within the digital technology and computer science space.

The Purpose

The Workshop aims at teaching youth how to protect their identity in the digital space and learn the basics of cybersecurity. Youth spend several hours on digital platforms (like social media, search engines, online, and ATM transactions) and need to know how to keep safe and not fall victim to activities such as cyberbullying and scams.

The workshop runs for 3 hours and workshop's content is based on the the CSRI's Digital Awareness Programme material. The initiative forms part of the national government Digital Citizen Awareness programme - protecting citizens from cybersecurity threats. The program is aimed at creating awareness among local youth about dangers existing while operating in the digital space.

Future plans

The workshop will be rolled out in townships around Cape Town. It is also research-driven to mainly understand the realities of what people are exposed to in cyberspace. The longer-term aim is to help possibly develop a short course on cybersecurity.

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