Markham, ON (CA), November 2014 - Intel Security, in partnership with Discovery Education, the provider of digital content and professional development, have announced the Intel® Security Digital Safety Program, a three-year education initiative designed to teach children to "Think Before You Link" and make safer decisions when using the Internet. The first and only Discovery Education-supported initiative focusing on cybersecurity education, the Intel Security Digital Safety Program will equip educators, students, and parents with the tools they need to be confident, safe digital citizens.
"Teaching our kids to be safe and savvy online is one of the most important things we can be doing," said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at the well-known antivirus software producer McAfee., which is now part of Intel Security. "If we're successful in these kinds of endeavours, we'll be contributing not only to kids' personal well-being but also to their future education and careers – all of which will spur economic development."
"We are delighted to begin this multi-year partnership with Intel Security, bringing the power of their expertise in cybersecurity to bear in creating first-of-its-kind cyber-safety curricula," said Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO of Discovery Education. "This engaging, new approach to security education will empower students to be responsible digital citizens and provide them with the skills needed to recognize possibly threatening online situations."
The Intel Security Digital Safety Program will provide educators with standards-aligned resources, including self-paced lessons for use in the classroom to help engage students on timely, relevant topics like Internet safety and security. At the conclusion of each module, students will receive a cybersecurity certificate acknowledging they've completed the program and will act as responsible cyber citizens. Additionally, parents can access the program's at-home family resources to further reinforce the importance of online safety to their children.
Through Intel Security and Discovery Education's partnership, the Intel Security Digital Safety Program offers resources designed to teach students ages eight to eleven in Canada and the U.S. ways to keep personally identifiable information (PII) private online; how to create stronger passwords; and how to deal with cyberbullies. In the partnership's second year, the program is planned to expand to reach ages eleven to fourteen, and in its third year the program is expected to expand globally to offer its resources in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The first module, available today, will be focused on cyber safety and will teach children how to keep their devices and personal information safe. According to the McAfee "2014 Teens and the Screen" study, conducted by Intel Security in June this year, fourteen per cent of youth between the ages of ten and eighteen have posted their home address online, while only 61 per cent have enabled privacy settings on their social profiles.
"Canadian youth have some potentially risky habits when it comes to their digital activities," said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager at McAfee. "They would clearly benefit from a program that teaches them how to use the Internet more securely."
According to the Intel Security "Digital Deception in Canada" study, 76 per cent of youth admitted to hiding online behaviour from their parents; 56 per cent had viewed websites their parents would disapprove; and 25 per cent said their parents don't monitor their online activities.
"In this ever-changing digital world, it is vital that we prepare our students to act responsibly and protect themselves online," said Sandy MacDougall, Technology Integration Leader at the Halifax Regional School Board. "The program Intel Security and Discovery Education have partnered on will provide educators with important resources to help inform students about appropriate online behaviour."
Intel Security has already had huge success in equipping members of the community with some simple Internet safety tips. Since 2011, more than 250,000 parents and school-aged children worldwide have participated in the McAfee Online Safety employee volunteer program. In Canada, McAfee has trained 2,856 school-age children and 296 adults on ways to stay safe and secure and how to maintain good ethics in their online behaviour. With the support of Discovery Education, Intel Security hopes to make its curriculum available to millions of children, parents, and educators around the globe.