Five leading cyber-safety advocates and digital literacy organizations in Canada have been recognized for their efforts to reduce bullying and increase safety online, and they’re receiving cash support from TELUS to carry on their good work.
“From industry leading research to advocacy and school curriculums (sic) to thought leadership, each of this year’s award recipients exemplify a deep commitment to supporting and educating Canadians on cyber-safety and have made exceptional progress in their efforts,” said Shelly Smith, Director, TELUS WISE, in announcing the winners (please see the fully hyper-linked list of winners below).
The need to engage, educate and inform young online users does not seem to wane, despite repeated efforts to do exactly that. Unfortunately, there are always good reasons and powerful reminders why it’s an on-going process to protect kids from bullying and sexual exploitation in the digital domain.
There’s plenty of reason to continue to keep warning seniors and the elderly, too, particularly about online financial fraud and identity theft, so the efforts of the all the award winners to help foster a safer and more informed digital world is certainly welcomed, and understandably honoured.
Yet, with new smartphone apps launching daily, with a growing number of online social media platforms, with increased connectivity among the Internet of Things, there are lots more ways people can be exposed to financial fraud, online exploitation, sexual stalking and cyber-bullying.
Zetabytes worth of ways, in fact!
According to industry analysis at IDC, and just using U.S. figures, some 44 zetabytes (or 44 trillion GBs) worth of social media data will be posted by 2020. The seemingly innocuous information people put online may just be the final bit a hacker or identity thief needs – so it is more than important than ever to think twice about what is shared online.
Users have a big responsibility, of course, but so too the companies and services with which they interact; it’s a responsibility some companies may not be taking all that seriously.
Another industry survey says that corporate disclosure about their use, sharing, and retention of user information is generally poor (therefore, one assumes, a user’s knowledge of the practice is also poor), and the research also indicates that company disclosures about privacy are minimal at best, often non-existent. Half the companies researched show “a serious lack of respect” for privacy.
Yes, by all means, good on TELUS and the parents, teachers, students, not-for-profits and law enforcement organizations working with the telecom provider to create educational resources for young people and for adults, and thanks to them for their efforts to help keep all Canadians safer online.
There’s plenty to learn from each and every participant in TELUS WISE, and there’s plenty of reason to suspect that, well, it may not be enough.
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The 2015 TELUS WISE Outstanding Canadian award recipients are:
Outstanding Canadian student, teacher or program (kindergarten to grade 12)
- Wendy Craig and Dr. Debra Pepler, PREVNet Co-Founders, Toronto, Ontario
Outstanding Canadian student, teacher or program (post-secondary)
- Carol Todd, Amanda Todd Legacy, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Outstanding Canadian citizen
Outstanding Canadian police officer or program
Outstanding Canadian not-for-profit program