The Municipality of Amsterdam, a government agency that offers services for public transportation, space planning, and water management, announced on Thursday, November 17, that it received an award at the Smart City Awards 2022, for the Hackshield project. The project falls under the “safety & security” category.
The industry around digitalisation and urban innovation met this week at the Smart City World Expo in Barcelona. The Smart City committee evaluated the 337 initiatives from 60 nations in its hunt for the world’s innovative gems before designating them as finalists in 10 categories.
What is HackShield?
Cybercrime is a term that everyone has most likely heard or talked about it, or seen something on the news. The number of people who fall prey to cybercrime is growing. Because of this, the victims require a protector. And this is where HackShield comes in. It helps users learn about everything they can do as CyberAgent to protect their father, mother, siblings and grandparents against cyber criminals.
To become a CyberAgent, users have to solve puzzles and answer questions to receive rewards with ‘Shields’ to climb up the leaderboards. After completing all the levels, HackShield will provide users with Quests to solve, which can be played alone or with siblings/parents. Users will then discover even more about cyber topics: passwords, phishing and moneymuling.
HackShield was rolled out in the city as a project within Mayor Halsema’s digital security agenda. The OBA, the Police, and the Johan Cruijff Arena made the request via a mini-feature film with the mayor and police chief Frank Paauw to educate kids between the ages of 8 and 12 about the risks associated with the internet world.
At GemeenteDelers 2022 this year, HackShield also took home an award from the VNG in the area of “Knowledge and Communication”. As a result, the success of the accessible and sharable approach received a lot of national attention. In a statement, the Municipality of Amsterdam, mentions, “We have inspired other municipalities to take over the initiative. And now there is also international attention for HackShield.”
More than a game
Launched in November 2018, the themes covered by HackShield include data, cyberbullying, and money mules. For instance, the city of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Public Library have created a quest regarding misinformation. Because of its partnerships with a number of organisations, including the National Police and the Johan Cruijff Arena, HackShield is a group dedicated to promoting digital literacy and a future where cities and the people who live in them are safe online.
Some of HackShield’s highlights include: over 150,000 Cyber Agents; more than 130 municipalities work together with HackShield in the Cyber Agents; HackShield can now also be played in Brazil and Belgium; organised The Great HackShield Event twice in the AFAS Theater in Leusden; the world’s first cyber passports have been issued to our Cyber Agents; HackShield has been expanded with a module for the classroom and the library.