Cyber Champions Programme Launches

Date published: 
22 November 2021
Cyber Champions Launch

The NI Cyber Security Centre has launched a new programme aimed at protecting young people while they’re online by helping them navigate cyber security.

The Cyber Champions Programme provides a resource pack to help teachers and leaders of youth clubs and uniformed groups explain key aspects of cyber security in a fun and meaningful way.

Joe Dolan, Head of the NI Cyber Security Centre, which is part of the Department of Finance, explained: “The online world is part of every day for young people but it is important that we do all that we can to ensure they understand the importance of cyber security.

“From interactive games to designing posters and composing a rap on cyber security, the programme includes a wide range of resources and activities to help educate, inform and empower young people on good cyber security practices and tips, that they can do and share with family, friends and their wider community to better protect them from being victims of cyber attacks.

“It has also been designed to provide opportunities for young people to explore the ever growing and fast paced world of cyber security as a potential career pathway.”

The programme has been produced in partnership with the Consumer Council, the PSNI, and the Scamwise NI partnership as part of the Scamwise NI Champion initiative.

PSNI Superintendent Gerard Pollock, Chair of the Scamwise NI Partnership said: “Young people’s lives revolve around technology and online activity and it is important that they understand how to be cyber secure.

“The Cyber Champions Programme includes a wide range of fun yet challenging activities to help young people to understand the importance of cyber security, providing them with the methods to protect them and their devices from being targeted by cyber attacks. The information within the booklet will help young people and provide them with tips and knowledge which they can then pass on to family and friends, to help them be cyber secure too.”

Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of the NI Consumer Council, added: “The Consumer Council was delighted to work with the NI Cyber Security Centre to develop the Cyber Champions Programme.

“Due to the accelerated growth of digitalisation and following Covid-19, our young people are spending many hours per day online, both socially and for digital learning. It is vitally important that our young people know what to look out for and how to keep safe online. The Cyber Champions programme offers a dedicated service to educate and empower our young people into making smarter choices regarding their personal data and online safety.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Photo caption: Joe Dolan, Head of the NI Cyber Security Centre and Detective Inspector Ally Burns from PSNI with representatives from NI Consumer Council, Girls' Brigade NI, Scouts NI and Reserve Forces and Cadets Association NI. 
  2. Any school or youth group who would like the resource pack can download it here:  https://www.nicybersecuritycentre.gov.uk/cyber-champions
  3. Further information on the NI Cyber Security Centre can be found here: https://www.nicybersecuritycentre.gov.uk/ or on Twitter @NICyberSC
  4. Information on Scamwise NI can be found here: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/scamwiseni
  5. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office at dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.