Cybersecurity campaign for elderly people

03 June 2022

On May 11 we kicked off a cybersecurity campaign to make elderly people in Belgium aware of their security online. We had conducted the first campaign for elderly people in 2021 and the reactions were very positive.

Two-speed digitalisation

Digimeter, the annual survey of media use in Flanders conducted by the Imec research centre shows that repeating such a campaign is not superfluous. More specifically, it shows that the coronavirus crisis accelerated the pace of digitalisation of our society. We would applaud that, were it not for the fact that it is a two-speed digitalisation that is proving to be too fast for an increasing number of people in our society.

'44% of the respondents said they experienced difficulties in dealing with technologies. this figure rises to 73% among the over-65s surveyed. 26% of respondents avoid digital applications because they are not familiar with them and 47% of them fear that they cannot solve the most common problems with digital applications. Among respondents aged over 65, these figures were 40% and 70% respectively.' This is the response to the new Digimeter posted on the website of the Flemish Council for the Elderly (Dutch only).

Promoting digital inclusion

The campaign is of course about making the elderly aware of how to use the internet safely, how to shop online safely, how to protect themselves against internet fraud such as phishing , etc.

We want to strengthen the trust of elderly people in .be by informing and inspiring them; by showing them that there is no reason to distrust the internet, if you are careful and somewhat informed.

Ultimately, the campaign should promote digital inclusion in a society where young and old have access to the internet and have sufficient knowledge and skills to use the internet safely.

The campaign in brief

In the campaign, well-known and less well-known people share their favourite web addresses. This way you will discover where Lieven De Schamphelaere of Natuurpunt likes to spend his time on the internet. And Laurence Bibot's favourite web addresses.

The campaign thus shows that there are many .be websites that are safe and interesting. We hope that the famous people can inspire others: if the internet is an integral part of our lives, we might as well make the most of it to arrange things, communicate with family and friends, and keep ourselves informed, etc.

In an online quiz older people can test their knowledge on safe internet use. They can check whether they recognise unsafe websites properly, they are asked a question about phishing mail... And while they are quizzing, they are given handy tips for surfing even more safely.

Finally, the experts from DNS Belgium answer questions that older people really have when it comes to the internet and the digital society. The Flemish Council for the Elderly and various French-speaking organisations for the elderly have collected these questions and our experts provide explanations in short videos or articles.

In the videos and blog posts, our experts explain, for example, how you can find out which company is behind a web shop, how you can recognise suspicious e-mails or text messages, what you can do when you do not receive an online purchase, or worse, when money has disappeared from your bank account through phishing or a fraudulent web shop...

Keep an eye on our social media channels to discover the full campaign

The campaign came about with the help of a number of organisations and associations in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia such as the Vlaamse Ouderenaad and the Brussels Ouderenplatfom. Digital Ageing ensured that the tone was right and that it was not pedantic or discriminatory, and that the message was understandable for all older people.

With this article we support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.