Avast will cooperate on online safety and prevention with UP Faculty of Education

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wednesday 8. january 2020, 8:00 – Text: Dana Jurková

Together, within the auspices of the projects Buď safe online (Be Safe Online) and E-Bezpečí (E-Safety), UP and Avast will analyse the impact of internet threats on children and adults and prepare specialised teaching materials.

Avast, a global leader in digital security products, has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the UP Faculty of Education (UP FE) Centre for Prevention of Risky Virtual Communication (CPRVC), which in recent years has successfully established itself as a leader in prevention, intervention, and research in the area of risky behaviour in the online environment.

“The interest from large commercial firms in cooperation and partnerships with our faculty pleases me to no end. It also confirms that our scientific research workplaces are top quality and able to compete with the best. Our cooperation with Avast is one of our most important,” said UP FE Dean Libuše Ludíková.

In the course of 2020, CPRVC and Avast will not only take part in sociological research, but also in popularisation, prevention, and intervention activities oriented on the main issues of internet safety – via their key projects Buď safe online (Avast) and E-Bezpečí (CPRVC). Their activities are oriented toward children using internet services and also toward their parents and teachers.

“A significant part of our collaborative activities will be aimed at parents, for whom several specialised materials are being created to help them with establishing safety rules as a family. These will include electronic safety methods, which at present are being used only by one fifth of the parents in this country,” said CPRVC Director Kamil Kopecký, an expert on cyber safety.

CPRVC and Avast will also analyse new forms of internet threats, and subsequently prepare a strategy for the elimination or minimisation of their impacts on children and adults. They will aim primarily on the dominant internet services and their potential safety risks.

“According to our research, Czech children spend an average of two hours daily on the Internet, and three to five hours a day on the weekend. This often takes place on social networks and webpages which their parents do not know nor understand. For this reason, we perceive how important it is to teach children safe behaviour on the Internet, and to give parents an overview,” explained Julia Szymańska, Be Safe Online project ambassador and an expert on online safety at Avast. “We’re looking forward to working with CPRVC on researching the impact of new online threats on children and their parents and looking for ways how to help them with prevention,” she added.

 

CPRVC: The UP FE Centre for the Prevention of Risky Virtual Communication (CPRVC) is a certified university workplace oriented on risky forms of communication by children and adults on the Internet. It is especially focused on cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cyber grooming, hoaxes and spam, sexting, social engineering methods, the issue of sharing personal information through social networks, and other dangerous communication techniques.

 

The research conducted at CPRVC is both basic and applied (including contractual research). It is aimed at risky communication of children and sexual abusers, the risk of sharing personal data across individual communication platforms, specific forms of cyber attacks by means of web cameras (webcam trolling), identification of fake profiles, fraudulent e-shops, commercial offers, and aggressors, and support for victims.

Centre research, education, and interventions are conducted in collaboration with a number of companies – mainly O2 Czech Republic, Google, Vodafone, ČSOB bank, and Avast, as well as the Police of the Czech Republic, the National Bureau to Combat Organised Crime, and other institutions. In 2015, the project E-Safety won the national competition of the European Crime Prevention Award. Visit: www.prvok.upol.cz

Avast: Avast (LSE:AVST) is the global leader in digital security products. With over 400 million users online, Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect people from threats on the internet and the evolving IoT threat landscape. The company’s threat detection network is among the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to detect and stop threats in real time. Avast digital security products for Mobile, PC or Mac are top-ranked and certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, OPSWAT, ICSA Labs, West Coast Labs and others. Visit: www.avast.com

Buď safe online: The project Buď safe online (Be Safe Online) is a non-profit educational programme under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, aimed at education and prevention in the area of Internet safety for primary school children. It takes the form of an interactive, live workshop where children are shown how to avoid the risks connected with using the Internet and modern technologies through specific, practical examples, combined with presentations on the Internet in the form of webpages and videos aimed at individual threats. The project is supported by Avast and YouTuber/influencer Jirka Král. Visit: www.budsafeonline.cz

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