COLUMBUS CELEBRATES WORLD SAFER INTERNET DAY (SID 2015) Educating Citizens on Internet Safety

Columbus Telecommunications Barbados Limited, operators of Flow and Columbus Business Solutions, observed World Safer Internet Day under the theme “Let’s create a better Internet together.”

Niall Sheehy, Managing Director says, “Columbus Barbados joins our regional Columbus family as well as all our stakeholders – individuals, businesses and governments in a shared responsibility to ensure a safer Internet. To create a better Internet together involves more than simply providing services. It involves educating the most vulnerable in our society on the proper and most secure use of the Internet – this includes our youth and our senior as well.

"Cyber security is globally recognised as priority for organisations and the issue of online privacy and information security remains a top priority for Columbus. As the world observes the 12th Safer Internet Day today, Columbus is reiterating its commitment to promoting a safer Internet for all." Sheehy noted, "Since operations in Barbados we at Columbus have partnered with entities like BrightPath Foundation and their educational Techlink programme that provides communities knowledge and practical technical skills to adapt and apply technology to local needs; technological training and resources, and build understanding of technology issues and opportunities; as well as the Caribbean Cyber Security Centre's cyber security programme which is committed to ensuring the protection of the nation's youth from online criminals and predators."

Cyber security is globally recognised as priority for organisations and the issue of online privacy and information security remains a top priority for Columbus. As the world observes the 12th Safer Internet Day today, Columbus is reiterating its commitment to promoting a safer Internet for all.” Sheehy noted, “Since operations in Barbados we at Columbus have partnered with entities like BrightPath Foundation and their educational Techlink programme that provides communities knowledge and practical technical skills to adapt and apply technology to local needs; technological training and resources, and build understanding of technology issues and opportunities; as well as the Caribbean Cyber Security Centre’s cyber security programme which is committed to ensuring the protection of the nation’s youth from online criminals and predators.”

He added that as a company, the goal this year is to continue to provide Columbus’ users with the knowledge and tools to help safeguard themselves.

Mr Sheehy added that Columbus also makes it a priority to protect its customers with the recent launch of the advanced services of Parental Control: “While the internet provides excellent learning and communication opportunities, it also opens the door to a higher degree of risk. Oftentimes this can be avoided completely and that is why we’ve made it our mission to educate our valued customers about the importance of taking control and use their Parental Control.”

Columbus offers up some useful tips for parents and guardians to help protect their children from online predators and unwanted content;

* Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home
* Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long
* Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices and laptops
* Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online
* Be sure to continually dialogue with your children and make it your business to know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams

Mr. Sheehy said the convenience of doing business online is now attracting senior citizens to the Internet. “But this can expose them to certain risks that they are not necessarily aware of, including crimes such as fraud and identify theft. The more time someone spends online, the more opportunities they will have to expose information about themselves.

“Thus, never share your password or account numbers over an e-mail or instant message; do not follow links from e-mails when conducting financial transactions; always be wary of callers, pop-ups, websites or e-mails asking for personal information; create secure passwords and change them often; invest in anti-spyware and anti-virus software; and finally, file a report with law enforcement and notify creditors if there is an incident or a suspicion of identity theft,” he added.

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