Activities galore at inaugural Digital for Life Festival to show how tech can impact lives

On-site activities, such as sessions on navigating the POSB digibank mobile app, will be held during the festival. PHOTO: POSB

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will be able to explore how technology can impact their lives, at work and at play, at the first Digital for Life Festival, organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) from May 21 to 29.

The Straits Times, in partnership with Singapore Pools, is the media partner of the festival, which hopes to showcase the potential of going digital - from healthcare to shopping and banking.

Visitors can participate in activities such as workshops and webinars on how to stay safe online and learn new digital skills.

On-site activities, such as block coding  workshops, and sessions on navigating the POSB digibank mobile app and recognising the characteristics of fake news, will be held at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on May 21 and 22.

Parents will be given tips on how to manage their children's screen time, and coding sessions will be conducted for children virtually from May 21 to 28.

The public can visit Heartbeat @ Bedok on May 28 and 29 for tips on how to be a cybersafe family and go cashless using the FairPrice app to shop for groceries at the supermarket chain.

There will also be community pop-up events spread across 50 locations, including at Ang Mo Kio Public Library, Bukit Batok Community Club and Kreta Ayer Community Club.

The various activities, which are free, will involve the support of partners and ground-up volunteers such as TriGen@SGH. The volunteer group, started by healthcare professionals, will provide tips on engaging the elderly digitally in a webinar.

In February 2021, President Halimah Yacob launched the Digital for Life movement to encourage Singaporeans to embrace digitalisation and build a digitally inclusive society together.

Under the movement, strengthening digital literacy and wellness is one key area.

It aims to not only promote good digital habits, but also mitigate the risks of online harms such as phishing attacks, fake news and cyber bullying.

Participants at the festival can also look forward to interacting with brands such as Google, Netflix, FairPrice, The Lego Group and TikTok.

Government agencies, such as the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, which oversees the country's cyber security, and the National Library Board, as well as non-profit organisation partners such as social service agency Lions Befrienders, will share tips on navigating the digital space.

For the festival, ST is working with Singapore Pools to raise awareness of the recent spate of scams and ways to spot them. This will be done through an exhibition, which includes a showcase of videos and interactive graphics, at Suntec Singapore and Heartbeat @ Bedok.

On May 25, ST will host a webinar to address the issue of scams, featuring three experts - Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Aileen Yap, assistant director of the Anti-Scam Command of the Commercial Affairs Department, Dr Majeed Khader, chief psychologist at the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Mr Xavier Low, chief executive of the Cyber Youth Academy, which advocates the safe adoption of technology in Singapore.

On Jan 29, The Straits Times launched the Stop Scams initiative to educate the public on how to spot scams and what to do when contacted by scammers.

Mr Lam Chee Weng, chief executive of Singapore Pools, said: "Technology is indeed a powerful enabler for all of us. Unfortunately, it also opens a window of opportunity for those who would use it for scams and other illegal purposes.

"With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the digital revolution, Singapore Pools is proud to be able to support the Stop Scams initiative to enable all of us to spot and combat these scam syndicates."

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of SPH Media Trust's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and ST editor, said: "Digitalisation has improved and shaped all our lives. But it comes with its own perils, as the recent, seemingly relentless, spate of scams makes clear.

"We need to arm ourselves with information to be able to stay alert, spot the scams and stop them from hurting people. ST has been playing its part in this effort, and will continue to work with partners such as IMDA, Singapore Pools and others to do so."

For more details about the festival and to sign up for activities, go to this website.

Correction note: An earlier version of this article said on-site activities on on May 21 and 22 include blockchain workshops. It should be block coding workshops. We are sorry for the error.

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