#CyberSmart Caravan arms teachers with cybersecurity skills

Cybersecurity and online privacy are hot topics not only because of the high-profile data breaches but also because the internet has become a platform for “non-tech” to commit crimes.

As a technology company that constantly pushes for the use of the internet, Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) felt the need to launch its own cybersecurity awareness efforts within the company, which now branches out to other sectors of society.

Smart gathered hundreds of contingents of teachers from Metro Manila, cybersecurity experts, media practitioners, and child welfare advocates in a day of learning and discovery through “#CyberSmart Caravan” held at the Don Alejandro Sr. Science and Technology High School in Quezon City.

“Technology is bringing about good things and profound changes (in our daily lives,” said Stephanie Orlino, public affairs senior manager and education program head, Smart. “But we must be also aware of the pitfalls, risks, and challenges.”

Orlino said they designed the games to allow the teachers to realize on their own that some online habits may seem harmless but closer scrutiny may prove otherwise.

Smart #CyberSmart Caravan 1

Photo by Marlet Salazar

The speakers shared tips on how to protect themselves and their pupils online.

“Facebook is not a learning platform,” said Elijah Mendoza of Smart.

This is in response to concerns over teachers using Messenger to communicate with their students. He suggested to the teachers to use other learning and more collaborative learning platforms that are more transparent and offer security.

The #CyberSmart Caravan featured lessons on data privacy, social engineering, internet safety, child protection, and fake news, among other issues, through interactive installations, virtual reality games, relay races, and talks by subject matter experts.

The resource persons included Geri Cauilan, Smart cybersecurity operations group head; Newsbytes.PH cofounder Melvin Calimag; and Faye Balanon, Unicef Philippines child protection officer, among other speakers.

The activity also kicked off the #CyberSmart Caravan series, which will go around various schools and universities nationwide to help teachers and students strengthen their online safety and cybersecurity knowledge.

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