Flow shares safer Internet tips

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Above: Students of Bishop Anstey and Trinity East listen to tips on a safer Internet from Flow. Photo courtesy Flow.

The Flow Education Road Show stopped at Bishop Anstey and Trinity College East (BATCE) on February 11, to observe Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day started as an initiative of the European Union SafeBorders project in 2004.  Since then, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in approximately 160 countries worldwide.  Each year Safer Internet Day raises awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns, ranging from cyberbullying to social networking.  This year the theme was “Together for a Better Internet.”

Speaking at the Road Show, Country Manager for Flow Trinidad Kurleigh Prescod said this year’s theme was an opportunity to encourage everyone to join the movement, participate, and make the most of the Internet’s potential to bring people together.

Prescod’s words echoed that of President and CEO of Flow’s parent company, Liberty Latin America, Balan Nair, who also mentioned connectivity in his message in observance of the Day.  In his statement, Nair offered: “It’s hard to imagine life without the internet – it enables people, it connects people, and it helps people to learn, work, play, conduct business and even grow local economies and democracies.

Through several initiatives across our region we will be supporting the communities where our team members live and work by providing educational materials and tools to raise awareness of the importance of digital responsibility. Safe use of the internet is critical for everyone, and as a provider of connectivity, we are fully supportive of this important global effort.”

Likewise, Prescod shared this advice to the nearly one thousand students present at the Road Show: “We need to be mindful that we do not morph into alter egos when we are online, and online is not just on the internet, it also refers to the many group chats that we are members of.

You need to be the salt of the earth, adding fine flavour … just like the valuable cocoa flavour that Trinidad and Tobago is known for the world over!” he said.

The students also learned about protecting themselves and their families against phishing through an interactive session with Hayden de Four, Chair of the Interbank Security Committee at the Banker’s Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT).  Phishing is a cybercrime in which a person is contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure a person into providing sensitive data such as ID, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

While De Four got the students to discuss how easily identity can be taken for granted, he also pointed out other characteristics which unsuspecting people fall prey to: use of authority – to validate the request; a limited benefit – a steal of a deal opportunity; enticement with gifts; social media validation.

Cyber bullying was the final topic to be discussed. Spoken word artiste Omari asked his young audience: “Ain’t it funny that upper case letters can make you a lower-case person?” In his performance, he asked the students to consider what they say online. Just as Bishop Anstey’s Principal Brian Wickham said, ‘it’s time to get serious with Internet safety.’

The Flow Education Road Show was not all talk.  The students got an opportunity to share their views on connectivity and phishing through free-style and extempo performances.  Some walked away with movie tickets as well as tokens from Flow and the Banker’s Association.  They were also treated to a performance by rising young soca star, Abdiel, who attended Trinity College East.  Abdiel reminded the young students about the importance of passion, having a dream and working to achieve it.  At the end of the session, the students were treated to eats and a movie.