Co-creating for a safer web: Ahead of EU Cybersecurity Month, Google and Euroconsumers launch Space Shelter

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A new web game to help people learn how to navigate the web safely — while having a blast

The Web has never had more potential to improve lives, but that’s only true as long as it is safe. Ahead of EU Cybersecurity Month in October, Google and Euroconsumers, with its local consumer associations in Italy (Aoconsumo), Spain (Ocu), Belgium (Test-Achats) and Portugal (DecoProteste), have joined forces to create “Space Shelter”. Choose your astronaut and beware of unexpected obstacles and aliens: this new web game will help people of all ages test their skills and learn new ones, all with a basic internet connection.

This is the first of many announcements that Google will have for EU Cybersecurity month. After a year of pandemic-driven tech acceleration and high-profile security threats, this work has gathered greater urgency. Every day, Google automatically blocks more than 100 million phishing attempts; Google Photos encrypts 4 billion photos, and Google Play Protect runs security scans on 100 billion installed apps. We check 900 million passwords daily, and automatically protect more than 4 billion devices with our Safe Browsing technology.

Still, a critical part of making the web safer is helping teach healthy digital habits. Google works directly with experts and educators to help people set boundaries and use technology in a way that is right for them and their families. That’s the objective of this initiative, and the purpose at the heart of our partnership with Euroconsumers. There’s no reason that work can’t also be fun.

A virtual trip to outer space

Who said we can’t travel in outer space from home? “Space Shelter” makes learning about online security an adventure, with smooth graphics and a top-level score and sound design. Players will select an avatar by choosing from a set of characters, and then will have to go through a series of five mini-games before ultimately docking at their destination: the Space Shelter. All the while, they’ll uncover the elements that make an internet account safe online, from using a password manager to understanding multi-factor authentication and widely available consumer privacy settings.

Making a difference by playing

The release of Space Shelter is the start of this partnership, but it’s not the end: Google will be making a contribution to support TechSoup, a non-profit organization that supports nonprofits, charities and libraries by providing access to donations and discounts on software, hardware, and services. TechSoup will run a series of nine training sessions on privacy and safety topics to NGOs in all the countries where this project will launch, with the goal of reaching as many as 3,000 NGOs.

The launch of Space Shelter will also be supported by 12 YouTubers from the four countries who, like real astronauts, will be receiving a survival kit and training from an authority: Paolo Nespoli, ex astronaut, science communicator and coach. These aspiring safety-nauts will be promoting the game to a wider group of consumers.

“We are glad to partner with Euroconsumers for a safer web for users. Google believes technology should improve life, which is why we have worked with experts in civil society and gaming to build a web game and help make the online universe safer.” – Karen Massin, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, European Institutions, Google.

“Space Shelter makes learning about cybersecurity more accessible, even fun,” said Marco Scialdone, Head of Litigation & Academic Outreach at Euroconsumers. “By raising awareness about cybersecurity, through initiatives such as Space Shelter, customers will feel able to benefit more from the huge opportunities presented by technology.”

Space Shelter is another fruitful product of the strategic partnership between Euroconsumers and Google. The internet offers great potential to improve lives – but only if it is safe to use. This is the reason for which Euroconsumers teamed up with Google to make the internet a more secure place for everyone, with a particular focus on digital well being, family safety, and online privacy. The Euroconsumers and Google partnership intends to accomplish these goals through empowering consumers with knowledge, tools, and programs, such as Space Shelter.

As technology becomes increasingly integral to everything we do, it can sometimes distract us from

the things that matter most to us. We are committed to giving everyone the tools they need to develop their own sense of digital wellbeing. This is why we are working hard to bring projects like this one to our Countries.