The IT Crowd give a session on Internet Safety

Rose Connolley
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    On Tuesday, 9th February, The IT Crowd visited the Building Futures Group to inform them about the do's and don'ts of internet safety. The IT Crowd is one of the five daytime activities that are part of the A Reason to Get Up programme. 

    The session started with the Buzz Game, where all young people gathered in a circle and passed an envelope around the room until there was a buzz sound. Any person left holding the envelope would then open and find a word or phrase related to the internet and were encouraged to take a guess on what that word or phrase meant. There was great teamwork as the young people supported each other to learn and understand what these terms meant, such as "cyber-crime", "trolling", "illegal websites" and "grooming".

    When discussing cyber-crime, the young people were able to discuss what could happen if someone was a victim of it. They determined that a cyber criminal could open a bank account, could claim benefits, could order things online and could apply for a passport through stealing an identity. 

    There was also a very mature discussion about grooming online. Some young people expressed their thoughts about the possible dangers of meeting new people on social media and one of the Peer to Peer mentors spoke out on the subject saying: "I never add people on Facebook unless I have met them face to face". The session ended with a quiz in which the group split in to small teams and came up with answers to questions such as "What do you share online?", "Who should see your personal information?" and "What would you do if search results were upsetting?" The young people did a great job in working together to encourage each other to learn and discuss the facts of Internet Safety.   

    The IT Crowd is designed to enable young people to be supported to improve their IT skills, become knowledgeable in social media, develop their CV and work on lots of interesting projects such as blogging. The overall aim of A Reason to Get Up is to give experience, knowledge, and skills to help young people move towards meaningful employment in the broadest sense, whatever the young person's goal may be.