Seniors hail inclusion for safer Internet awareness

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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A group of elderly persons from the National Council for Senior Citizens has welcomed the move to include them in activities to promote Safer Internet practices.

The involvement of the seniors was in keeping with theme for Safer Internet Day 2019, observed globally on February 5 under the theme: “Together for a Better Internet”.

The seniors were participants in a safer Internet practices workshop hosted by telecommunications firm, FLOW, at its Carlton Retail Division on Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston on February 14. The workshop, which included representatives from the Grace Workshop Ministries and the Washington Gardens SDA Club, was geared towards exposing the senior citizens to important features on their mobile devices as well as threats that they may encounter online.

“I am so happy for the session. I learned a lot and I now have a smartphone so I can WhatsApp and Facebook,” said Millicent Whitely who was presented with a ZTE Blade smartphone during the session.

Another participant, Michael Eubanks, was grateful for what he said was the simple manner in which the presentation was conducted. “I am enlightened beyond my previous knowledge about Internet awareness and safety,” he said. “The presentation was so easy to understand, even for a novice and I must give credit to FLOW.”

Susanna O'Sullivan, director of information technology at FLOW, said elderly citizens are often a target for scammers and hackers and it was therefore critical to make them aware of the threats they face. “Being the leading technology service provider, it is imperative that we at FLOW engage our loyal group of senior citizens to educate them on safe internet practices while navigating the online space,” she said.

“Kudos to the team from FLOW for once again mainstreaming ageing persons in its company agenda and work plans. Our seniors don't want to be left behind; they want to be online and in the know and so a session like this that really helps to demystify and engage them is truly appreciated,” said Cassandra Morrison, executive drector of the the National Council for Senior Citizens.

The session provided the group of just under 30 seniors with tips for safe e-mail habits, guidelines for using social media, common threats posed online as well as helpful apps and features of the smartphone.


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