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Pupils learn to spot fake news on Safer Internet Day

02 February 2021

Industry collaborations provide Cyber Ambassadors with new learning opportunities

More than 2,000 primary and secondary students across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are taking part in a number of free sessions designed to help children and young people learn how to spot fake news online. The sessions have been organised by the Cyber Ambassador Scheme run by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s team as part of this year’s national Safer Internet Day on 9 February.

Primary/Junior school students are taking part in a live online escape room where they will be tasked with unlocking codes to fight against fake news, and secondary/college students are taking part in a virtual webinar with interactive polls and quizzes. At both events students will be able to get expert insights and advice from colleagues from the University of Portsmouth Cyber Crime Clinic.


Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day is organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre. This year’s theme is exploring factual accuracy in the online world, looking at how users can separate fact from fiction. The Cyber Ambassador events will be looking at false information, targeted advertising and influencer content, and focus on equipping young people with the skills that they need to spot inaccurate content.

James Payne, Chief Executive of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, said: “Living through a pandemic as a child means life is increasingly playing out online, including lessons as well as social interactions with friends on social media or gaming platforms.

“Children have to make decisions at all times about who and what to trust online, and are being confronted with content that may not be all that it seems.

“It is therefore important that they develop the skills they need to be able to navigate the complex online world – and our Cyber Ambassador Scheme helps them do exactly that.”


Free cyber education

The Cyber Ambassador Scheme provides free peer-to-peer cyber safety education and support to thousands of young people across the Hampshire and IOW policing area. Continuing to grow in reach and recognition, the scheme is now working in partnership with the University of Portsmouth Cyber Crime Clinic, Amazon Web Services, the Cyber Hub Trust, CEOP ambassadors and CISCO Networking Academy. These collaborations will help to expand the scheme even further, bridging cyber safety and cyber security, and will provide Cyber Ambassadors with even more opportunities to increase their knowledge so that they can keep their peers safer online.

Michael Klonowski, CEO of the CyberHub Trust, explained: “The Trust works with children, students and adults, to facilitate learning and ‘real world’ work experience, to develop skills, experience & qualifications in Cyber Security. This is all based on the importance of helping everybody understand how and why they need to stay safe online. We are pleased to be collaborating with the NCA and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Cyber Ambassador Scheme.”


Webinar available

With all sessions for Safer Internet Day being fully booked, the webinar for secondary schools will be made available on YouTube. Any schools interested in similar webinars or dial-in sessions as part of their online learning provision can contact the Cyber Ambassador Scheme via .