Cyber Awareness Week was officially launched in Donegal today with the release of a new campaign targeting internet safety for all ages.
Phone scams, phishing messages, parental control and young people’s mental wellbeing are the main topics to be explored this week through adverts and information campaigns.
The week will include the following
- Social media and advertising campaign with the theme ‘All that glitters is not Gold’ funded through the Healthy Ireland Fund, which was devised, produced and recorded by young people from Foroige, Donegal Youth Service and Donegal Youth Council.
- A Cyber Awareness Poster Campaign, sponsored by the Older Persons Council, circulated throughout the Community by Community Gardai.
- A Dedicated Webpage – which provides information and links to supports available on all aspects of Cyber Awareness is available at: https://www.donegalcoco.ie/community/jointpolicingcommittee/cyber%20awareness%20week%202021/
The theme of the local campaign is ‘All that Glitters is not Gold’. Donegal Youth Council, together with Foroige and Donegal Youth Service were tasked by the Joint Policing Committee with producing three adverts to raise awareness of Cyber Safety for Cyber Awareness Week.
This is the first collaborative project of its kind to be rolled out in the country.
Young people from all over Donegal came together for a week in August to brainstorm, plan, script, produce, direct and star in three Cyber Awareness Adverts. The videos below were supported by Healthy Donegal through the Healthy Ireland Fund to highlight how cyber crime, including cyber bullying, can have a massive impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
The two social media adverts and radio adverts (recorded in both Irish and English) reveal a clear message around cyber awareness: Protect Yourself, Mind Your Usage, Stay Safe Online – All that Glitters Is Not Gold.
Clr Gerry McMonagle, Chairperson of the JPC, said “Every one of us has an ever expanding digital footprint across a range of devices and accounts, at home, at work or at school. The consequences of not being cyber aware can have a detrimental impact on our finances, our security, our mental health and the lives of others.”
“I am delighted that Donegal JPC have taken the initiative to hold a Cyber Awareness Week. On behalf of Donegal JPC I wish to acknowledge the co-operation and support received from Healthy Ireland Fund, An Garda Siochana, Donegal ETB, Donegal Youth Council, Foroige, Donegal Youth Service and the Older Peoples Council, in helping to make the week possible.”
John McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council, stated that “Donegal JPC Cyber Awareness Week is a wonderful example of how the three pillars of partnership – Elected Representatives, local communities and An Garda Siochana – working together can help to tackle a growing problem facing all of the people of the County through the provision of support, information and advice.
Mr McLaughlin continued: “Cybercrime is a growing problem across every community and greatly affects the enjoyment of using electronic devices by many of our citizens. It is hoped that cyber awareness week will help raise awareness and offer supports to help tackle this issue throughout our communities.”
Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn, Divisional Officer for the Donegal Division said “An Garda Síochána are happy to work with our partners in the Donegal JPC on this initiative.”
Speaking at the launch of Cyber Awareness Week 2021, Brian Halligan, Detective Inspector with the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau, urged internet users to be vigilant and always report cyber crime to help prevent others becoming victims of the same groups.
“Anybody is only a click, a swipe or a tap away from becoming a victim of cyber crime,” Mr Halligan said.
“We need people to report if you have been a victim, or if you believe you have been a victim.”
An Garda Síochána encourages people who have reason to suspect they are victims of cyber related crime, particularly the recent criminal cyber attack of the HSE, to make a report on the Garda Confidential Line – 1800 666 111 or at their local Garda station.
Information and contacts for people with concerns in relation to Cyber Safety are also available through the following links:-
Information for Young People & Parents from Donegal Youth Services
Scam Awareness Community Banking from Eve Curran, Ulster Bank
Garda National Crime Bureau – information on their role and links to advice and assistance
The Healthy Ireland Fund supported by the Department of Health and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.