Educating Consumers About How To Protect Themselves Online
Online threats today are more sophisticated, damaging and potentially dangerous than ever before. In the same way that we educate our children about the risks of drugs, smoking, or violence, it is critical that we educate them about the importance of safe computing.
In keeping with our commitment to be a constructive and valued part of the communities we serve, Symantec undertakes a variety of activities to bolster consumer awareness of how to stay safe in cyberspace. These include:
- Promoting broad-based consumer education and awareness programs;
- Helping law enforcement agencies obtain the tools they need to detect and deter cybercrimes; and
- Funding university programs that foster the next generation of cyber security talent
Promoting Education and Awareness
Symantec promotes cybersafety through a wide range of consumer education and awareness efforts, including up-to-date resources available on our web site, partnerships with key nonprofit organizations, and employee volunteer work.
Perhaps the most worrisome threat to many consumers is that of online fraud; in fact, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that 1 in 25 Americans is the victim of online fraud.
To help consumers understand online fraud and other common cyber crimes, Symantec has created an online resource that includes tips and resources on how to avoid online fraud and what to do if you become a victim of online fraud, as well as easy-to-follow explanations of other common cyberthreats, such as spyware, "Trojan horses", and "bots."
Symantec conducts a variety of educational programs to reach out to the public about online threats and risks. Recently, Symantec joined forces with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help inform consumers about online fraud, how to spot phishing e-mails, and what to do to protect their personal confidential information from being stolen.
Partnerships in Internet Safety
Symantec is committed to helping parents keep their kids cyber safe. That is why we support and actively participate in nonprofit organizations, like the National Cyber Security Alliance, that promote Internet safety. NCSA members include companies, educational institutions, and government agencies, and its aim is to carry out awareness campaigns that educate home users, children, and small businesses about the importance of computer security. NCSA's website, www.staysafeonline.org, offers best practices specifically targeted to help parents and children safeguard their home computers. The site also offers parents a self-guided cybersecurity test, educational resources, and other valuable tools.
Symantec is also a strong supporter of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, an organization that provides cybersafety educational resources specifically geared towards schools and families with school-aged children. The coalition's web site, www.ikeepsafe.org, contains an array of child-friendly tools aimed at teaching children to safely navigate cyberspace.
Partnering with governments around the world
Symantec is also a strong supporter of efforts by governmental agencies across the globe to educate children and families about cybersafety. Symantec and its team of experts serve as resources to many governmental agencies in these efforts. Governmental resources available to children and families include The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and The U.S. Federal Trade Commission The U.K. National High-Tech Crime Unit.
Symantec also works closely with policymakers in the U.S. to raise awareness of the importance of computer safety. For example, in 2005 Symantec worked with legislatures in more than thirty states to designate October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. These efforts resulted in heightened consumer and policymaker awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and the steps that users must take to protect themselves in cyberspace.
Web Wise Kids: Project Safe Childhood
Symantec has recently funded this national initiative headed by the Attorney General of the United States. The Web Wise Kids program is designed to protect America’s children from computer-facilitated sexual abuse and exploitation. Web Wise Kids reduces Internet victimization of youth by using their Internet safety programs to educate children about internet safety and victim prevention.
Symantec Employees Help Keep Their Communities Cyber Safe
Symantec employees have a keen understanding of the online risks facing computer users, and Symantec is committed to ensuring its employees' expertise benefits end users.
Symantec experts are in the process of developing free educational tools that can be used by parents to keep their children cyber safe. These tools will be available on Symantec's website and regularly updated to take account of new and emerging risks to children's safety online.
Symantec is also developing an employee volunteer program through which our experts will go into schools to educate parents, teachers, and children about computer security best practices.
Symantec works closely with governmental and law enforcement agencies to ensure that they have the training and resources needed to aggressively pursue and capture criminals in cyberspace.
Symantec has urged national governments to ratify the Council of Europe Cybercrime Treaty, which would harmonize a number of important anti-cyber crime statutes in key jurisdictions, including the United States. Such harmonization would help law enforcement track and capture cyber criminals who cross international boundaries to avoid prosecution.
In the United States, Symantec has worked to bring together law enforcement agencies to develop strategies for coordinating and improving governmental responses to cyber threats. For example, Symantec convened a public Cybercrime Roundtable in Washington, D.C. with representatives of key agencies involved in the fight against cyber crime.
Higher Education Programs
Symantec is committed to helping foster the next generation of experts in cybersecurity. We partner with a number of leading educational institutions - including Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of California system - to provide financial support to students in cybersecurity through scholarships, fellowships and sponsorships.
We also work to provide internship programs for students in cybersecurity. These students work onsite at Symantec's research labs, learning valuable skills that they can then utilize in their academic training. Many of these Symantec interns eventually join our company as full-time employees.