Initially, BSO was conceived as a series of physical workshops at schools, supported by ongoing educational influencer campaigns on social media, with an emphasis on Instagram. Jirka Kral and an Avast ambassador delivered digestible messages about online safety and security backed by the latest in Avast’s threat research. From 2019 to 2020,the program was transformed into an open, interactive online course, supported by social media campaigns and additional influencers in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Palacky University faculty provided pedagogical support in developing an effective curriculum, and the program team regularly conducts focus groups with youth in the target age range (9-14) to keep the content fresh,relevant,and understandable. The Avast Foundation became responsible for the program in January 2021, and has worked with Avast staff from the PR, social media, and threat research teams to produce new educational content.
The BSO brand is strongly and positively associated with Avast and its expertise. It has also become a trusted brand on its own, having received seven awards in a variety of categories, including the 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Czech Republic award in the Goal 4, Quality Education category. In the autumn of 2021, a 10-episode podcast aimed at parents called “Mom and Dad on the Net”aimed to help parents get to know their children’s digital world and advise on how to protect them online. Together with experts and influencers, including Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek, they discuss why the online world is so attractive to children, what dangers they face on the Internet and what digital parenting entails.
Social media channels and the online course create a comprehensive platform that helps children and schools become oriented and learn about cybersecurity.
BSO primarily uses Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to reach its audience, and these social media channels are collectively followed by nearly 100,000 young people in the Czech Republic.
TikTok, which was newly launched in September 2021,reached 40,000 followers in just seven months.