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Liberty sponsors ‘Safer Internet Day’ in Puerto Rico

Naji Khoury

Naji Khoury

As part of its social commitment to the community, Liberty Puerto Rico is sponsoring Safer Internet Day 2013, a global activity that raises awareness on the importance of surfing the Internet safely and with respect. The international Internet safety day is held annually, falling on Feb. 5 this year.

Safer Internet Day 2013 will also help kick off Liberty Puerto Rico’s own corporate social responsibility campaign promoting Internet safety. As an initial step, Liberty announced a strategic alliance with the Internet Society Puerto Rico chapter to provide information and resources on this topic.

“We are very excited with this campaign because this is a very relevant issue for a wide array of people in our society,” said Naji Khoury, managing director of Liberty Puerto Rico. “Internet safety is a very important subject not just locally but globally as well and we want to be the first company in Puerto Rico to truly take possession of this issue and become a valuable information and help resource on this topic.”

Using the slogan “Connect with Respect” this year, Safer Internet Day is an event that gives children, parents, teachers and the general public the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the rights and responsibilities of all Internet users. It also invites all these sectors to contribute solutions to make the Internet a safer place for children and young people. This year, Safer Internet Day celebrates its 10th anniversary internationally and its 5th in Puerto Rico.

“The Internet is a very important part of our daily lives but technology has changed so much and so fast that is very hard to keep control of what our kids see and do over the Internet. We think the best way to help our customers is providing information on how to navigate the Internet with safety and respect,” said Gabriel Palerm, sales and marketing director of Liberty Puerto Rico. “As part of a global cable and Internet company, we have the responsibility to protect children and young people in the communities we serve.”

According to a study from the EU Kids Online Network, 41 percent of surveyed kids said their parents are very worried about their safety online while 25 percent said their parents do not use the Internet at all. Another 12 percent said that they have experienced something upsetting on the Internet.  In short, four in 10 children have encountered at least one or more forms of online risk.

While there are no statistics available for Puerto Rico, the problem nevertheless exists, said Eduardo Díaz, president of the Internet Society Puerto Rico chapter.

“Even with increasing use of the Internet, there is a lot of ignorance about how it works and the dangers it can bring,” said Díaz. “It’s important to hold a conversation with community, government and business sectors to disseminate information that can help users to make better use of the Internet.”

In addition to a media campaign, Liberty will offer downloadable resources and tips on its webpage. One of them is called “The Digital Universe of Your Children,” which includes a three-minute long animation titled “Who are your children talking to?” The page also has a link to the Safer Internet Day 2013 webpage, which offers educational materials for children that teachers can use in their lesson plans.

Throughout the year, Liberty Puerto Rico will also coordinate meetings with teachers, educators, librarians, community organizations and government agencies that can serve as resources to create awareness on the correct use of the Internet.

Safer Internet Day started out as an initiative from European Union’s SafeBorders Project in 2004 and was adopted by the Insafe Network (www.saferinternet.org) as one of its first actions in 2005. This activity is held in more 90 countries around the world including Puerto Rico, where Liberty Puerto Rico has sponsored it since 2008 thanks.

The messages from Safer Internet Day 2012 sent through the Insafe Network reached a minimum of 791,929 children, 3.4 million teenagers, 16,962 schools, 133,137 teachers and 20.7 million parents, the organization said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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