Community Village Cyber Meeting


Are any of you members of a community group? I’m not because there simply isn’t one worth going to in my area but I’d quite happily get involved if there was. I went along to a popular village community meeting, which took place in a village church and boasted a turn out of over 100 people. As you would expect for this sort of meet up, under 40’s were lacking representation and I was there to facilitate a cyber crime session so wondered how receptive the audience would be.

Generation Neutral Cyber Concerns

The initial talk gave an outline of the threats of cyber crime, emerging patterns, prevention and reporting advice. Then came the Q&A and despite expecting a tumbleweed moment, to my delight the questions flooded in. Each question posed had a technical element, which came as a pleasant surprise as clearly the older generation in this village had a grasp of digital. They asked about antivirus, protection in an OS X environment and guidance on the latest password advice. It was extremely encouraging to see so many people in the community showed an interest in fraud and cyber crime prevention. It challenged the stereotype of the older generation not having a clue about the internet and made me reflect on how entwined all our lives are with the internet and world of digital devices.

Digital Village

I decided to stay for the remainder of the meeting and listen to the chair and others go through the schedule. They talked about planning applications, summer parties, fund raising and local clean ups. It was very impressive to see such an engaged and active group. It somehow felt very old fashioned yet this was in stark contrast to the technical questions asked of me earlier following the crime talk.

It then dawned on me. Every fund raiser, every membership query and every petition was orchestrated via the medium of electronic mail. Surveys were being done online and one lady even spoke about her desire to establish a Facebook page to promote the good work they were doing. It was whole heartedly encouraged by the rest of the group. It was pleasing for me to see how the plethora of services available online were being used to promote the good work of such a traditional village community.

To top it all off the vicar chimed in with a story about nearly falling foul of a PayPal phishing email. The audience gasped and shook their heads and they nearly all seemed to have similar stories.

It is fair to say some of the older members of the community were far more aware and cautious than a lot of the younger people I work with. How encouraging.