Brandon Laur gives a talk on digital literacy and internet safety. He wears a white hat, a nod to hacker culture, and to the hackers that protect internet safety.                                 Photo submitted.

Brandon Laur gives a talk on digital literacy and internet safety. He wears a white hat, a nod to hacker culture, and to the hackers that protect internet safety. Photo submitted.

White Hatter educates students and parents on digital safety

On Tuesday, December 10, the White Hatter, an organization dedicated to educating people on internet safety and digital literacy, gave three talks about how to become digitally literate.

Two talks were given to students. The first talk was for grades 4-7 students, and the second was directed at high school students. The last of the three talks was in the evening, and was for parents.

For Brandon Laur, one of the White Hatters who presented on Tuesday, it’s about emphasizing the positives of technology, while also reminding people to stay safe.

“People are doing really cool and awesome things with their technology and we need to acknowledge and celebrate that fact,” said Laur. “At the same time, we have to ensure that parents and students are really using their critical thinking skills to question what they see.”

The name White Hatter was inspired by hackers. In the digital world, there are two kinds of hackers – black hat hackers, who attempt to access computer systems and operate often outside the law, and white hat hackers, who are employed legally to stop black hat hackers.

Increasing awareness and education around some of the dangers is one of the first steps towards building a safer online world, according to Laur. It’s important to educate yourself, because this technology won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

“Everything we do is either controlled or mediated by technology, it impacts everything we do because it has been incorporated into everything,” said Laur. “Our job is to enlighten, not frighten.”

Topics that were covered in these talks range from cyber-bullying, to the dangers and legality of sexting for older students, to tools and resources that both parents and students can use when they come in contact with a potentially dangerous situation.

Laur says that the number one thing to remember when it comes to technology is that it’s not scary; it’s not hard to learn how to use something safely as long as you apply critical thinking skills.

For students, however, this can be difficult.

“A lot of the issues we see with younger people is usually because the critical thinking part of the brain isn’t fully developed yet,” said Laur. “We’ll be talking about the brain science of it all with the parents.”

The information that the White Hatters presented to parents about how to protect their children will also be applicable to themselves, according to Laur.

In fact, all the information in each presentation is applicable throughout the entirety of someone’s life. Parents will be able to apply the skills that they learn in the talk to their own lives, and protect themselves as working professionals online as well.

These skills will last a lifetime, and will hopefully inspire the people who were in attendance to properly digest and critically think about the content they consume online.

With the rapidly changing digital landscape, there’s no time like the present to arm yourself against the potential dangers that come with it, regardless of age.

For those that wish to seek more information, go to www.thewhitehatter.ca for resources on all the topics covered in Tuesday’s talks.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Vacciniation is underway in Golden as of Friday, Jan. 15. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)
Vaccination underway in Golden

Long-term care residents and staff have been prioritized, April is the goal for public vaccination

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

The BC CDC data for Jan. 3-9. (BC CDC Photo)
Golden adds 7 cases in first week of 2021; BC CDC

The numbers are down from 14 the week before

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kelowna mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Most Read