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Cyber security in the EU: How can we protect our digital future?


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The digital age has brought with it many unprecedented issues regarding data protection and fundamental freedoms. Cyber security has since become a priority for the European Union, who strive to help Member States better protect their citizens online.

Faced with the threats of cybercrime, fake news, and outsider interference, the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy seeks to strengthen its role as a leader on international standards in cyberspace.

Issues of cyber security undoubtedly affect young people across Europe on a daily basis, having grown up in an increasingly digital society where almost everything is accessible online.

So, what do you think? Is Europe’s digital future at risk?

  • How can the European Parliament help to shape the EU’s digital future for the better?
  • How can the EU build resilience to disinformation and cyber-attacks?
  • Can the internet pose a threat to democracy across EU Member States?


Euroscola Session
Cyber security

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has selected some of its resources to provide young people like you with background information and insights linked to the topic above.

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Alessandro Boella
16 April 2021
The evolution that communication has undergone in the last thirty years is evident and has brought many opportunities for both economic and intellectual enrichment. However, although the Net is considered an indispensable tool of everyday life, it turns out to be a dark place full of pitfalls, in which it is extremely easy to get lost.
The inexperienced Internet user, dealing with the massive amount of multimedia content of all kinds, collides with a mountain that seems impassable to him. Unrestricted personal data sharing; fictitious individuals who can contact anyone without being discovered; pictures, videos, pieces of information that travel on any device without anyone being able to control them. Today, young people understand these issues very well. They are ordinary boys and girls, who recognize in the seven year-old cousin that Internet user who has lost his mind in the most dangerous sea he could ever sail. The users of the new digital services are more and more young. Paradoxically, as the age decreases, the risks these young people have to struggle with are increasing. It is therefore necessary to establish a new role: the digital teacher. In fact, letting kids swim in the vast ocean of the Internet without having explained to them how to do it, means letting them enter a terribly dangerous world without any protection.
This social role could be played by those who have experienced these dangers directly. The generation that has grown with the new communication tools could become the tutor of the generation that is still growing with these technologies. The school, the social meeting point par excellence, must be the promoter of this project of generational exchange, so that the citizens of the future can effectively protect themselves against the dangers of the digital world.
But the productive exchange can also take place between those who know these technologies because they were born under their blessed star and those who, before two decades ago, had never heard of them. It is undeniable how difficult it is for many of the previous generations to relate to new media. In this regard, a solution could be to create special European training television programmes which will make it clear to previous and subsequent generations that it is important to surf the Internet safely and correctly.
16 April 2021
Recently, numerous online platforms have repeatedly been subjected to hacker attacks which can be a great danger, as they put the digital identity of users and personal data at risk.
Not only hacker attacks are an issue, but also how these online platforms can be circumvented with ease.

Millions of minors, mostly children between the ages of 10-14, have the opportunity to access these platforms, social networks and sites; however we believe that they should be accessible only to people who have reached an adequate age.

Putting these public online platforms in the hands of inexperienced young people – teenagers, nowadays even children – could be extremely dangerous, since it might be too early for younger users to deal with them in a safe manner.

In view of the ease in circumventing the identification systems implemented by these digital platforms, we believe that we could take advantage of the cookies that are already in place to obtain information about users, but in this case for a higher purpose: the EU should create specific cookies to verify the age of those who sign up to Internet platforms and prohibit it to children under 13, in accordance to European law.
Leon Bartolo
15 April 2021
Further to the advancements in deepfake technology and the wider use of this technology which is easily accessible by purchasing apps for a minimal price; how are European Citizens going to distinguish between deepfake technology and real news?
What is the EU doing in this regard? Misinformation can topple governments and destroy economies.

In view of the losses experienced by thousands of individuals entering into CFD trading (contract for differences) through advertisements targeting youths. When is the EU going to follow the footsteps of the US to ban completely these practices and hard block websites at EU level to protect its citizens?
Lucía Madre María Rosa Molas Zaragoza
15 April 2021
I am completely convinced that cybersecurity represents one of the major problems among people nowadays. Depending on the age the user is, the problem could encompass from children to old population. In the case of children, who might not be concious of the danger and damage internet can provoke, it’s so easy to them to be victims of different types of cyber serious problems, such as cyberbullying. Nevertheless, dispite the fact that adults might not suffer cyber problems as cyberbullyi ng is, they can get damaged because of other cybersecurity problems, as can be an identity theft. We should know how to use internet and nets in the proper way if we dont want to suffer this types of issues. In my opinion, cybereducation should be included in the school curricular framework. This could help us, since we are kids, to be careful when we use internet.
15 April 2021
despite cybersecurity, the network continues to receive dangerous attacks, so my question is:
is the network designed to be safe?
15 April 2021
Hello there I'm nick , I am from Greece and recently I heard about cyber security so i think that's a good day to talk about this daily problem . SO First of all I think that we have to check the validation of the person or the company that send us a link of something so we have to be carefully about that because Hackers are making fake link that called phising link in order to take our personal information like a password of social media or Epsecialy bank account . So we have to be carefully. Also we have to know with who are we keeping in touch in digital world , I mean Instagram because is a just platform that we can talk with everyone of every place in earth so we have to be carefull .One more reason is our privacy that it's important piece of our life because we're living in 21th sentury and I regard that we have to protect it with every way where we can do this !!!!!
Saida Chiaburu
15 April 2021
We are used to put our data everywhere but we’re not really sure if our information is safe enough. 
How can the data acquired from social networks be used by the supplier?
What data can you trust those services with more confidence (assuming a secure provider)?
Neil Mifsud
15 April 2021
More awareness how people can report any crime on social media. Find different ways how people can report any cyber crime locally and internationally. People don't know what the penalties and consequences are when they done cyber crime.
Miguel McCarthy
15 April 2021
Since the start of the pandemic and even before, the use of online platforms has greatly risen and this has led to a number of benefits to consumers and online stores. However, that positivity has also brought with it a set of drawbacks to our digital infrastructure. Having said that, in my opinion, I believe that the institutions of the European Union are obliged to continuously protect online users from current and emerging online threats. Will the European Union have the proper resources and willpower to enact and amend legislation of this sort?
15 April 2021
There are non-technical ways to stop fake news, or at least to keep people from believing it.
Citizens must become aware that the internet is a very different environment from television and newspapers, there are no editors and there are no controllers. Users must be vigilant and careful not to fall into any of the fake news that circulate, since on the internet every day is April 1st.
We have devised some steps to follow to recognize Fake News: the first step is to verify that the site is reliable; the second point is to pay attention to fake photos, verifying that they have not been modified with Photoshop and using Google's reverse search; the third point is to look for other signs, for example to check the words generally highlighted in different colors that lead to other sites; finally, once the fake news has been recognized, the fifth step is to not share it and report it.
Furthermore, projects such as the one supported by the Mediaset networks entitled "Io non la bevo'' must be promoted. Who has created a website where there are 10 fundamental rules to recognize a fake news
Experts participating in this project could raise students' awareness of the subject by going from school to school.

1) What advice would you give us to eliminate the phenomenon of fake news?
2) Could software be used in order to recognize fake news?
3) What could be the consequences of fake news?
Genesini Asia
15 April 2021
Will the privacy of people online lack more and more throughout the years?
What's the purpose of online mass surveillance?
Do you think this kind of surveillance affects people negatively or positively?
Do you think the online mass surveillance is too intrusive? What less intrusive alternatives are available?
If surveillance could not be avoided, how could society b e empowered to build capacities to deal with its consequences?
15 April 2021
In the 21st century, social networks are the means of mass communication, how are teenagers personal data protected? And how to deal with the spread of false information?
Sam Delia
14 April 2021
1. What can the EU do to limit the spread of fake news, both at a local stage for each member country as well as internationally?
2. How can we as EU youths make sure that our data is not being processed and fed to large media companies by our governments?
3. If the new proposed laws such as the digital services act and the digital markets act are not passed, what will the EU do to maintain our protection?
4. Is there a plan for a program to be designed for youths to be thought about how they can protect their digital rights and about what we should do.
5. Is there a plan to have set up a European computer security incident response team?
6. How can the EU help fight cybercrime in each member state? Is there a plan in place to help each member state?
Angelina Kostadinova
14 April 2021
Does the fact that kids and teens in the EU spend an increasing amount of time on the internet make it easier for human traffickers to reach and fool them and what can we do to prevent it?

Le fait que les enfants et les adolescents de l'UE passent de plus en plus de temps sur Internet permet-il aux trafiquants d'êtres humains de les atteindre et de les tromper plus facilement et que pouvons-nous faire pour les empêcher?

This is a question that has been bothering me for a very long time. I reckon that the first step of finding a solution is educating the children and teens (especially the girls as they are more heavily targeted) about the dangers of the different online sites and meeting strangers on the internet. By keeping this topic a taboo because it is ''too heavy'' we are letting our children be ignorant about the things that can happen to them if they are not careful in the online space. Talking openly about the problem and having discussions about it is the best thing we can do.

13 April 2021
What are the major problems of cyber security?
What is the biggest threat to cyber security?
What are the types of cyber attacks?
Who is the No 1 hacker in world?
What are some cybersecurity techniques?
13 April 2021
Questions about cybersecurity
What is cybersecurity ?
Do we have the information we need to oversee cyber risks?
Do we have cyber insurance?
How effective is our cybersecurity strategy at addressing business risks?
What are the major problems of cyber security?
How cyber attacks can be reduced?
Alina Valega
12 April 2021
My questions are

- How many cyber attacks do you have a day and an hour?
- How is your crisis plan structured in case of an attack?
- Do you work with whites or red hats?
- How many locations do you have that control computer security and are placed in several cities in Europe?
- What digital projects for the new generations do you have in mind?
Sofia Cuoghi
08 April 2021
In futuro, dato lo scarso sviluppo informatico in Italia, come in tutta Europa, potrebbero verificarsi degli attacchi/reati informatici che ora come ora non siamo in grado di gestire adeguatamente, anche per la mancanza di leggi che puniscono i malintenzionati e tutelano gli utenti anche nella vita di tutti i giorni, ad esempio la pubblicazione di foto senza il proprio consenso.
È anche vero che è inutile creare nuove normative se non sono presenti sistemi/programmi informatici adeguati al riconoscimento dei reati.
Perciò una soluzione possibile, potrebbe essere un investimento economico sulla ricerca informatica e sulla creazione di un’istituzione universitaria che vada a formare figure professionali specifiche del settore.
Sabrina Terio
08 April 2021
I would like to ask who is generating the most exceptions to security policies for social media and why?
30 March 2021
-what are the most efficient ways to defend ourselves against a hacker?
-there are antivirus that allow, even the best hacker, not to be able to enter our technological devices?
Mojde Hussen
29 March 2021
I think that if we want a great result, we have to start with small steps. Children under 13 shouldn't access the web or even the social media but now, as you can see, they use it even more than us. If we can't prevent children from using social media, how can we prevent criminals from doing it?
Mohammed Cano Berazi
18 March 2021
Um es einfach und übersichtlich zu halten sollte es auf Nationaler Ebene einen sicheren Daten Speicher zuhaben um es Angreifen zu erschweren an Daten zukommen. Man sollte es einem geschlossenen Netzwerk halten welches nur von Behörden Server zureichen ist . Außerdem soll man wissen können wer auf welche Daten zugegriffen hat um Datenmissbrauch entgegen zukommen.