Today more than ever, society needs to come together to work towards a better and safer future for all our children. This doesn’t just mean members of the public: companies can and should play a key role in helping to support worthy causes. Global citizenship and cyber security are two issues that together have helped to define Trend Micro, playing a major part in who we are right from day one. That’s why we were delighted to combine the two in an exciting new video project with the CyberLaunch Academy.
Winners of the competition have just been announced and once again we’ve been astonished by the ingenuity, creativity and passion of the young people taking part. Their outstanding commitment and awareness of key internet safety and cybersecurity themes certainly bodes well for the future.
A passion for cyber
The video contest was a special version of Trend Micro’s popular What’s Your Story competition, which asks students and schools to create original, thought-provoking videos addressing key aspects of internet safety and security. This particular version asked 7-17-year-olds living in Canada’s New Brunswick province what they would do to make the internet a safer place.
It was run as part of a larger scholarships initiative piloted last spring by CyberLaunch Academy in partnership with Bulletproof Solutions Inc., PQA Testing, and individual philanthropists. The overall aim is to boost the local economy by going back to grass roots and making computer science training available to more students through K-12. Cyber-skills are becoming an increasingly essential part of any ambitious job-seekers’ portfolio, so it’s hoped contests like this will be able to kindle a life-long interest in internet safety among those taking part.
Leading by example
The Grand Prize winners this year were both outstanding:
The first, Dealing with Scammers was produced by a Fredericton High School student. During the video, she explains how an AI moderator can help kick scammers off chat rooms, private messaging, forums, and other social platforms. It’s a great idea and increasingly relevant to an online world today in which online fraud is unfortunately an all-too-common reality. The video richly deserved its Grand Prize award in the category of CyberGirls.
The second winner was produced by a fourth-grade computer fanatic from Oromocto’s Summerhill Street Elementary School. Ben on Making the Internet a Safer Place to Play shows us that playground and Internet safety have more in common than you might think. Using this motif, the computer science student offers some fantastic tips on how to improve Internet safety. It was awarded a Grand Prize in the General category.
As always, the standard of award entries was extremely high, as attested to by the quality of the two runners-up, and the four recipients of 2017 PQA scholarships.
We wish all the entrants well in their studies going forward. Trend Micro blocked an astonishing 38.5 billion threats in the first half of 2017 alone. It’s our hope that in a small way the competition has helped make the young people of New Brunswick more aware of online risks today, so that they can become responsible netizens tomorrow. Hopefully, a few of them may eventually even choose a career in cybersecurity.