Spending time online has become a major part of an average teenagers' life, especially now at the times of physical distancing. Often we might assume wrongly that as the newer generation has grown up using smartdevices every day, they would recognize threats more easily. Unfortunately, not. There are millions of scam victims every year ranging from those suffering from identity theft, financial losses, viruses installed or threatening and bullying online. Most of the sites operating currently are either not suitable for kids or require a lengthy tutor led program that the casual young internet browser might not have the attention span for. We are therefore here to help educate them and teach how to avoid getting harmed.
What it does
The platform is supposed to give brief training that outlines major topics in cyber security and let’s users test their knowledge in the form of fun mini games. It’s intended for the 8-17 year old internet user whose attention is caught by a click-bait online test headline similar to the likes of ‘Find out what type of potato you are’. He is then redirected to the CyWare webpage and immediately put through engaging self-evaluation quiz. Upon learning his level of expertise or even how little he knows about cyber security, he is then presented the option to learn the main ideas. It is crucial to keep the content very short and filled with memes and relevant photos, animations and really push the ‘short game side’ of learning that is more effective when the kid has to learn on his own rather than within a program. In case the user does get carried away when learning any of the ‘knowledge’ cards and wants to spend time for it, there are inbuilt links from the modals that lead to fun but lengthy and more sophisticated topic-respective games made within the Be Internet Awesome campaign by Google. Otherwise he can simply return to the short self-evaluation quiz we have provided and take the test as many times as he would like to. Moreover, there will be a whole section of mini-game arcade including kid favourites like the Snake, Pac-man and others that are adjusted to teach the kids what they should be going after (or who should they share information with) and what they should ‘run away’ from.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
3/4 of the team are complete rookies and for 2 of them this is their first ever hackathon that they join due to curiosity rather than actually having any ideas. Our team was only formed on friday evening and the first idea emerged around 7pm, taking out a good chunk of time that the other more experienced teams (that might have had skills, ideas or at least known their team members) probably spent already coding. However, being full of will power and persistent led us to learning along the way. We had to set priorities and realise what we can manage to learn and create in this time and what unfortunately will have to remain for the future ventures. In the end we put in much effort in googling kids website advice, contacting with mentors and going out of our way (even investing in new movie making tools) to understand how we can not only create something, but create something appealing to the specific audience.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
That we actually made it! We had many ideas, we started to prioritize, divided tasks easily and we had a great teamwork which especially showed in the end when we had corrections. We became really detailed regarding coloring, shading, hovering buttons etc.
What we learned
We've improved our coorperation and orgranization skills and we've learned that there are way more people who get scammed online then we thought.
Marta: Having 0 experience with code or building websites, my main takeaway is the UX design practice I had during these two days. I learned the names for different tools and shapes that might not seem like much, but is actually such a big step when trying to communicate your ideas to the back-end developers. The same goes for various colour code converters, resolution requirements, picking colours, shapes and choosing content that might be more appealing to the user.
Sigrid: I learned the phases of design thinking, it was basically my first time using Balsamiq and ever developing something like this. And I would have never thought that little steps/changes need so much work and for that I am grateful to Mikas who helped us through it and explained to us rookies how we need to think.Besides that I had a crash course in video editing and I'm not sure if I want experience such stress ever again, haha!
Tenis: Worked with content and design, did the Photoshop logos which required ad hoc learning.
Mikas: Learned the design aspects how little details are important.
Most of all we were all in this together and learned a long the way. We are definitely A LOT more knowledgable than we were on Friday evening when we first met each other.
What's next for CyWare
Making the website more interactive- working on layout options and adding animations, gifs, memes and visualisations in learning platform to make it more appealing to young users.
Building further the arcade features: more animations for the hangman to make it correlate with the correct/false answers and have a whole section for nostalgic Snake game and Pacman but with a cyber-related twist!
Creating partnerships with online school platforms like and E-klase, Ekool to draw traffic to the page. As well as looking into potential opportunities to place adds in most popular social media among youth- Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Youtube etc.
In the long run expand the CyWare kids section in to the adult education market, who usually don't educate themselves about the threats that might lurk online and have even more to lose considering all the sensitive information that can be more devastating to lose than the kid’s, for example, banki cards etc.
We communicated on the slack channel named #raccoongirlsnboys.