The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and Verizon Team Up to Promote Internet Safety for Adults Aged 50 and Older

SARASOTA, Fla. - The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and Verizon teamed up Thursday (Feb. 19) to promote Internet safety for adults aged 50 and older.

Verizon announced that it will provide a $25,000 grant to the university to develop Internet safety workshops that will be held throughout the region to educate people in this age group about potential online risks like credit card and computer fraud, banking transactions and identity theft. 

The announcement was made at a forum on Internet safety at the Selby Auditorium at the university's Sarasota-Manatee Campus.  Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum was the keynote speaker.

"Providing a safe online environment for families, particularly the 50-plus adult community, is a priority for Verizon," said Michelle A. Robinson, Verizon's Southeast region president. "We are proud to partner with the Florida attorney general's office, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, AARP, and other state and local leaders to bring this valuable information to the community."

Other forum participants were: Judy Genshaft, president, University of South Florida; Dr. Arthur Guilford, vice president and CEO, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee; Dr. John Wiginton, professor, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee; Mike Mahon, consumer fraud advocate, AARP; Sgt. Bob Graham, special investigations, Sarasota Sheriff's Office; and Thomas Dailey, vice president and deputy counsel, Verizon.

The participants discussed online banking, credit card and computer fraud, auction fraud and identity theft. 

"The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is excited to be partnering with Verizon to conduct important hands-on workshops in the community," Guilford said. "Our faculty will provide in-depth information on key internet safety issues at various locations such as Senior Friendship Centers in Venice and Sarasota, Renaissance on 9th, and other community centers. The workshops will be offered in both spring and fall. We are very committed to helping educate our local community on a variety of topics at all age levels."

Verizon is engaged in Internet safety on multiple fronts.  The company provides customers with an industry-leading slate of online cyber-security tools and education programs to empower all users.  Verizon offers a suite of computer security programs that can keep your computer, information and family safe from online threats, including viruses and spyware. Those resources and others, including free parental controls, can be found at http://parentalcenter.verizon.radialpoint.net/.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 80 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

USF Sarasota-Manatee is an upper-level campus for those with an associate's or bachelor's degree interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master's degree, profess ional certification, or continuing education credit. The regional campus offers the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown campus, including classes in south Sarasota County at Manatee Community College Venice.