Editors’ Update, Nov. 28 — The schedule of events below has been updated since original publication.
SEATTLE — Nov. 28, 2006 — Microsoft Corp.’s Get Net Safe tour, a 12-city initiative to help keep Internet users of all ages safe online, will visit Seattle for three days, running from Nov. 28 to Nov. 30. Microsoft and its partners will sponsor 10 educational events in Washington — in Seattle, Redmond, Everett and Tacoma — with specialized content to empower children, teens, parents, business owners and people over 50 to better protect themselves, their families and their PCs while on the Internet. All sessions are free to attendees. For those who cannot attend a particular event, tips and techniques are provided at http://www.staysafe.org.
“High-tech crime cuts across our state demographically and geographically, affecting people of all ages, backgrounds and regions,” said Rob McKenna, Washington state attorney general. “For this reason, the attorney general’s office has identified cyber crime as a top priority. We commend Microsoft and its partners for bringing together the expertise of the private and public sectors to provide the greater Puget Sound community with important tools and resources to stay safe online.”
The Get Net Safe tour was created by Microsoft and 10 partner organizations to help raise awareness of computing security and Internet safety among PC users. According to a recent AARP study of Internet users in Washington state, of those who access the Internet and use e-mail, almost half report that they have received a phishing e-mail (45 percent), and nearly all have received spam e-mail (89 percent). In addition, almost half (46 percent) of computer owners said they have found spyware on their computers.*
“Baby boomers and older adults are one of the fastest-growing age groups on the Internet,” said Doug Shadel, state director of AARP. “However, we have found that many older Web surfers are reluctant to shop, pay bills or do other tasks online out of concern about identity theft. The Get Net Safe tour can help provide them with the knowledge they need to help protect their computer and the confidence to take advantage of many more of the things you can do online.”
“PCs have become a vital part of our daily lives, but if we are going to make the most of their potential it’s important to understand the risks and have clear guidance for safe online use and behavior,” said Kristin Johnsen, senior director of Security Outreach at Microsoft. “We have a great opportunity to share Microsoft’s expertise and that of our partners, and we’re confident that with some simple techniques, computing can be a safer experience for users of any age.”
The tour combines the resources of national organizations to host a series of seminars, luncheons and school assemblies to address various cyber crime issues. Participating organizations are AARP, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Geek Squad — 24 Hour Computer Support Task Force, GetNetWise, i-SAFE Inc., Microsoft, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuard Online, and the Department of Commerce.
The following activities are open to the public:
AARP and Microsoft Internet safety seminars. Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1–3 p.m., Tacoma Elks Club No. 174, Tacoma; Thursday, Nov. 30, 1–3p.m., Holiday Inn, Everett; co-sponsored by Microsoft and AARP. Attendees will learn how to better protect their PCs, identify common Internet scams and help keep their personal information more secure.
NCMEC and i-SAFE parent nights.
CANCELLED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m., Mount Si High School, Snoqualmie, sponsored by NCMEC and Microsoft;
Thursday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m., Evergreen Junior High School, sponsored by i-SAFE and Microsoft. Parents and guardians will be introduced to the possible dangers of the Internet and learn how to help keep kids safe while enjoying the benefits of the Internet.
Internet Safety Fair. Thursday, Nov. 30, 4–7p.m., Rotary Boys & Girls Club in Seattle, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Geek Squad, NCMEC and Microsoft. An interactive hands-on fair with a presentation for the kids and an opportunity for parents to learn how to help keep kids safe online.
More information about the Get Net Safe tour and safe Internet practices can be found online at http://www.staysafe.org.
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