Why I became a Cyber Champion

5 Sep

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to speak at Thomson Reuters, a multinational media and information firm, who were trying to get more of their young professionals interested in becoming Cyber Champions.

Cyber Champions Thomson Reuters - Jack Akehurst presentingIn my presentation I explained how I have been part of the Cyber Champions programme since I started working at Nexor as a graduate Technical Consultant earlier this year.

There are many reasons why I got involved, the main reason is that I believe it is important that all people, not just children, are aware of the good and bad possibilities when it comes to using everyday technology and being online.

My first experience with Cyber Champions was incredible. I was dropped in at the deep end as we had five workshops to get through in one day. Each of these workshops lasted an hour and we had to make sure we kept to the time limit. I was extremely nervous, not only was I worried about making the workshops run as smooth as possible but was also concerned about how the students would react to our message.

I needn’t have worried, once we got the first presentation under way my fears had dissipated. The students were extremely well behaved and as soon as we began to interact with them it was even more enjoyable.

Some of the students were more tech-savvy than others, some knew more than their teacher, and already knew their stuff when it came to online safety. Other students were less informed and were on sites such as Facebook and Twitter because their friends were and had no idea regarding privacy settings or who might be able to see what they were posting. This just reiterated the importance of making students aware of how to be safe online. The latest craze amongst the students was the app Snapchat, which was also a big topic of ours during the presentation.

The most fulfilling part of delivering the Cyber Champions workshops was the buzz the students seemed to get from it. It was fantastic to hear from teachers and students that they really enjoyed being part of the workshop and to have the feedback stating that “the students had not stopped talking about it”.

Cyber Champions Thomson Reuters - Group shotAs well as benefitting other people, being part of Cyber Champions also helps me with essential skills such as my presentation skills, team working and communications. These aid me in my technical consultancy role; helping to provide secure, trustworthy solutions to businesses around the world.

In short, being part of Cyber Champions is a great way to give back. If, like me, you’re enthusiastic about technology and the digital world, then being part of Cyber Champions is a fantastic opportunity to help children and young students protect their futures by getting them to think about how to be safe online.

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