The massive shift to online learning in India has seen schools, teachers and students implementing free online tools and services to facilitate learning, with many unaware that it presents risks related to user tracking, poor privacy controls and even malware.
That’s not all. Even in cases where the schools have adopted vetted technologies, they continue to be at a greater risk for cyberattacks as they hold a large repository of personal data. This is compounded by the fact that students, parents, and in many cases, even the teachers do not fully understand these new technologies and aren’t trained well enough to use them. And, given their economic vulnerability, not all educational institutions have funds to adopt robust security systems and institute a training programme as safeguards.
All of this means that the shift to remote learning has presented cybercriminals with new opportunities to carry out cyberattacks. An added area of concern is the challenge of fake news and misinformation, especially with regard to COVID-19. All of this has meant that while on one hand, technology is making it possible to address the challenges brought about by the pandemic and build resilience, on the other, it has opened up a diverse set of risks which were unfathomable a few years ago.
It is to these challenges that the cybersecurity thinktank CyberPeace Foundation, in collaboration with National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has launched the eRaksha Competition 2020. This initiative is supported by WhatsApp, UNICEF India, Twitter, Autobot Infosec and YourStory.
About the eRaksha Competition 2020
The competition encourages stakeholders across multiple levels in the education ecosystem — students from school and colleges, educators from various domains and caregivers — to share innovative solutions to problems faced in cyberspace in the form of artworks, written pieces, video or even inventions. The competition also aims to offer a unique experience to reflect and engage in meaningful dialogue with peers and mentors on how to be safe and responsible netizens.
The activities that will be held as part of the competition include:
- Wordhack – article, story, blog, and essay writing competitions
- Artcade – painting, poster making, sticker making, and sketch making competitions
- ScreenMasters- video making competitions
- Tech Avishkar – Innovative tech programs using the latest tools and techniques.
These competitions will be open for participants across three categories. The first category is for students from schools over the age of 10 years, the second category is for students from colleges over the age of 17 years, and the third category is for teachers, parents and guardians. Winners selected across each of these categories will receive trophies and certificates, and their profiles as well as their project details will be included in the winner compendium. In addition, shortlisted candidates will receive appreciation certificates, while all participants with valid entries will receive participation certificates in digital format.
There is no registration fee for the competition and entries can be submitted in Hindi or English only. The registration for the competition will end on September 30, 2020. Interested individuals can participate through eRaksha portal, ‘eraksha.net’.
In addition, to recognise and honour individuals, teams and organisations that have consistently worked towards enhancing online safety and cybersecurity and thereby building a peaceful, resilient and inclusive cyberspace, CyberPeace Foundation has instituted CyberPeace Honours. The award aims to bring to the fire commendable efforts made in the cybersecurity space.
If you are someone who has voluntarily put in efforts to promote online safety, register today. Participants will be shortlisted on the basis of the form they fill online through the eRaksha portal.
Leading the effort to build collective resiliency against cybercrimes
CyberPeace Foundation (CPF) is an award-winning civil society organisation and think tank of cybersecurity and policy experts, with a vision of pioneering cyber peace initiatives to build collective resiliency against cybercrimes and global threats of cyberwarfare. Since its inception in 2013, CyberPeace Foundation has been involved in policy advocacy, research and training related to all aspects of cyber peace and cyber security through partnerships with various government organisations, academic institutions and civil society entities.
Having led many awareness campaigns over the years, CyberPeace Foundation observed that every second internet user has had an unpleasant experience online, creating an urgent need to build resilience. The eRaksha Competition has been an effort in that direction. First launched in 2019, this marks the second edition of the eRaksha Competition. The first edition received over 15,000 entries from across the country, including some from Russia and the UAE. The competition brought out numerous innovative ideas that were well received by experts from the industry, government and academia.
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