Urban Outfitters, social activists join Cybersmile’s Sharezees campaign

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The Cybersmile Foundation has launched a new awareness campaign entitled Sharezees to discourage teens from sharing their passwords and security PIN codes.

Cybersmile said the habit can have devastating consequences and is being supported by fashion brand Urban Outfitters.

Working with leading advertising agency adam&eveDDB, Cybersmile has developed an impactful campaign that discourages young people from sharing their passwords by driving home a fun but important message that even two-headed hats or three-legged trousers aren’t anywhere near as strange as sharing their passwords.

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Common sense: Cybersmile’s campaign shows how password sharing is stranger than most things.

Sharezees campaign

In the campaign, Izzie Rodgers and Cybersmile ambassador Amazing Arabella are seen modelling a limited edition collection of Urban Outfitters x Cybersmile collection that are perfect for good friends to share – but with the message: “Share anything but your password.”

Password sharing risks

Password and PIN code sharing can lead to personal accounts being accessed without permission and private information being exposed publicly – leading to blackmail, sextortion, financial fraud, reputation damage and other harmful outcomes that can affect education or employment prospects later in life. 

With the popularisation of social media and streaming services, password sharing has become more normalised in recent years.

“We recognise the very real instinct to want to share parts of yourself with those close to you and to mark a deepening relationship with milestones”, said Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder of The Cybersmile Foundation.  

“However, once someone shares their password or PIN, their lives can be deeply affected for many years to come. 

“We generally see people respecting the importance of password privacy more as they get older and our hope is that this campaign can help young people think about this issue sooner.” 

Approximately 800 people each year use Cybersmile’s help and support services for issues related to sharing passwords or PIN codes. 

Below are some of the ways young internet users can reduce the risk of password problems:

Cybersmile’s Top 5 Password Safety Tips 

  1. Never share your password with anyone even if it’s your best friend.
  2. Create a complex password that includes a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters and at least one special character to help avoid having your account hacked.
  3. Enable multi-factor authentication to create an extra layer of security when accessing your accounts.
  4. Respond quickly and never ignore notifications of accounts being used on another device or even a password change request. Reset your password and ensure double factor authentication is enabled with a mobile phone for additional protection.
  5. Get in contact with Cybersmile for any additional help and support.
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Safety code: fun campaign with serious message to discourage password sharing.

With young internet users often in possession of multiple social media accounts and email addresses, password safety has never been more important. 

The Sharezees campaign is aiming to reach a broad audience to help change the culture around password sharing, moving it away from being acceptable or even a show of affection or friendship.

Molly Wilkof, Creative Director at adam&eveDDB, said: “With the guidance from Cybersmile and generous support of Urban Outfitters, we’ve been able to show the fun side of sharing your life while making a serious point. 

“Many teenagers are figuring out who they are and where healthy boundaries lie – we all share intimate stuff when we get close to people, but some things are off limits and even a little weird. 

“It’s time to raise awareness of the impact that sharing passwords can have.”

Social activists in Oxford St

Izzie and Arabella will be hosting a meet & greet at Urban Outfitters on Oxford Circus to meet fans and educate teens on password sharing. 

The campaign will also be shared across the influencers, Urban Outfitter and Cybersmile’s social channels, targeting 13- to 16-year-old teenagers. 

Social activity is supported by a 30″ cinema spot, highlighting the dangers of password sharing, which launched on Friday 28 October. 

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Out-of-home and everywhere else: Cybersmile’s campaign is set to appear everywhere from billboards to cinemas and on social.

The cinema advertising media was secured by Bountiful Cow via Pearl and Dean. 

JCDecaux has donated digital out-of-home media space, with ads set to go live in January 2023. Media strategy and planning was also provided by Bountiful Cow.

The launch of the Sharezees campaign follows the success of Cybersmile and adam&eveDDB’s previous #TrollingIsUgly campaign in 2018 which won Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.