DENVER - Verizon and i-SAFE, the leader in online safety education, have teamed up to hold the second Cyber Safety Week, a statewide series of online safety training and awareness sessions for students, teachers, parents and law enforcement agents.
The sessions, funded by more than $42,000 in grants from the Verizon Foundation, began Tuesday (Oct. 7) in Ignacio and will take place throughout the week in Lone Tree, Monument and Fort Collins.
The sessions for students are aimed at encouraging them to spread the message of how to avoid becoming an online victim. The ones for parents will raise awareness and help provide parents with tools to protect their family online. The ones for local law enforcement will train members of an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force to proactively fight online exploitation through i-SAFE education and awareness programs. Recently, the U.S. Senate approved the Combating Child Exploitation Act, which recognizes the importance of ICAC task forces and guarantees future funding for ICAC programs nationwide.
Verizon and i-Safe held a similar series of programs in Colorado in April.
Verizon is engaged in Internet safety on multiple fronts. The company provides customers with an industry-leading slate of online cyber-security tools and educational programs that empower parents and children. Verizon also works closely with law enforcement to assist with investigations involving crimes against children, and partners with organizations like i-SAFE (http://www.i-SAFE.org/verizon/) to deliver tools and information to various segments of the community.
"Broadband technology presents a tremendous opportunity, but parents will not feel comfortable with their children's embrace of the technology unless they know their children are safe," said David S. Valdez, Verizon senior vice president for the Northwest. "That is why we continue to stay ahead of the curve on this issue, offering free online safety tools to our customers and partnering with nonprofits and law enforcement to bring this valuable information out into the community."
Surveys conducted by i-SAFE of more than 20,000 Colorado students show:
- 45 percent have registered at a social-networking Web site such as MySpace.com or Facebook.com.
- 12 percent report having been repeatedly pursued or contacted (stalked) on the Internet by another person, against their wishes.
- 14 percent have met someone from the Internet in person
Data collected by i-SAFE, a nonprofit organization, also show that 38 percent of Colorado students tell their parents "almost nothing" or "nothing" about their Internet-only friends. And 35 percent of fifth- through twelfth-graders said their parents would disapprove or punish them if they knew about all their Internet activities. To date, i-SAFE has helped educate more than 6 million students and more than 250,000 adults nationwide through Congressional funding and corporate partnerships.
About i-SAFE Inc.
Founded in 1998 and active in all 50 states, i-SAFE Inc. is the leader in e-Safety education. i-SAFE is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate and empower students, parents, seniors, and community members to safely and responsibly take control of their Internet experiences. i-SAFE provides knowledge that will enable them to recognize and avoid dangerous, destructive, or unlawful online behavior, and to respond appropriately. This is accomplished through dynamic K through 12 curriculum and community-outreach programs to students, parents, law enforcement, and community leaders. i-SAFE is the only e-Safety foundation to combine these elements. i-SAFE Inc. is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization. www.i-SAFE.org
About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer program, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
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 nearly 69 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 more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.