As the island’s internet connectivity continues to recover, Liberty Puerto Rico is stressing the importance of using this resource responsibly and safely through its corporate social responsibility campaign “Navega con seguridad” and the celebration of the 11th annual “Safer Internet Day.”
This event will be held on the island today, with several resources to help the public navigate the web safely.
“Safer Internet Day” is a global activity that raises awareness among children, young people, parents, teachers and the public on the importance of internet safety. “Safer Internet Day” is held annually on Tuesday of the second week of February.
This year, “Safer Internet Day” will feature the slogan “create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you.”
More than 100 countries around the world participate in “Safer Internet Day” by organizing activities such as school events, contests and educational resource presentations on the subject. Through Liberty’s efforts, Puerto Rico has participated in this initiative since 2008.
The main purpose of Liberty’s “Navega con seguridad” campaign, which runs year-round, beyond “Safer Internet Day,” is to educate the public on how to use the internet responsibly and safely.
This year, Liberty will rebroadcast a video it produced in partnership with the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Child Exploitation Investigative Unit. The video delves into the risks of cyberbullying and exploitation which children and teenagers are exposed to when navigating the internet without supervision and how they can protect themselves. ICE Special Agents Alek Pacheco and Reynaldo Medina generate a discussion on this subject in the video, providing valuable information and tips for children and teenagers aged 9 to 14.
“When we produced this video with ICE last year, we knew that it would be a valuable tool to educate children and teenagers about the dangers of using the internet without adult supervision,” said Naji Khoury, president of Liberty Puerto Rico.
“Thanks to our alliance with ICE and the Department of Education, we have been able to take this message to the people that need to hear it the most,” he said. “We will continue to provide this information through Navega con seguridad to continue helping the communities we serve.”
According to ICE, the agency registered a reduction of 17.3 percent in child exploitation cases during the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, with an average of 62 cases compared to the 75 arrests that the agency made during a similar period during the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years.
“All efforts, regardless of whether they come from the public or the private sector, are necessary if we want to stop and eradicate child exploitation in Puerto Rico,” said Orlando Báez, interim director of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Office (ICE HSI).
“At ICE we are very proud of the results that initiatives such as Liberty’s Navega con seguridad and ICE’s iGuardian have had in our communities. The drop in child exploitation cases during the 2017 fiscal year around the island can be attributed to our joint efforts to educate and prepare our children so they are not victims of online sexual predators,” he said.
“At Liberty and ICE, we will continue working on our efforts through initiatives aimed at education and prevention. Only through the knowledge and skills that we impart on our children we will be able to protect them from unscrupulous predators that stalk them on the internet,” Báez said.
In addition, Liberty continues to cultivate its partnership with the Department of Education of Puerto Rico (DE) by providing a series of orientations for teachers from the DE’s School Health Department and School Retention Attention Unit, which works with high-risk schools and develops plans to combat bullying and cyberbullying.
This division brings together social workers, professional counselors and psychologists that work as an integrated team. During these sessions, teachers and social workers will watch the video and offer their feedback. Teachers will also include it in their class curriculums.
“The Department of Education, aware of its responsibility for the safety of its students, has combined forces and resources to fight against the dangers that lurk when they enter the cybernetic world,” said Julia Keleher, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
“This partnership with Liberty, to prevent cyberbullying through a special video, will provide educational experiences so the students, teachers and people in the community can develop concepts, skills and behaviors on internet safety,” Keleher said.
“As part of that process, we will be offering orientations to all on how to use the video and that way train young promoters, so they can carry the message of child cyberbullying prevention through peer strategies,” she added.
The video will air on CableVisión (channel 10 on Liberty’s digital standard definition lineup and channel 210 on its high definition lineup) from Feb. 6-20 at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. It will also be broadcast on Liberty’s channel 85 (Channel 285 in its HD lineup) at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The video will also be available in a downloadable format in the “Navega con seguridad” section at Liberty’s webpage.
In addition to the video, Liberty will also mark “Safer Internet Day” by launching an upgraded version of “Navega con seguridad’s” microsite. In this site, people can find more information on the campaign, downloadable resources, videos, tip sheets and educational materials.