Ministerial Statement by the Minister of National Security, The Hon. Wayne M. Caines JP, MP:
Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday of this week, 80 people gathered to learn, surf, post, secure, like, and comment during what has become a yearly event for Bermuda: Safer Internet Day. The unique feature of this gathering was the surfers and posters were our senior citizens.
Mr. Speaker, Bermuda can say with certainty that its tech-savvy seniors have embraced the Internet with all of its positive aspects and have learned that cybersecurity is not limited to the business community.
Attendees learned about many ways to use the Internet in a secure way, to adopt safe social media practices, and to appreciate the many benefits of eReaders and other technology tools.
Mr. Speaker, importantly, they received information about the very real dangers that are constantly lurking online. One fraudulent practice they learned about was phishing. Phishing is when a scammer uses fraudulent emails or copycat websites to get a person to share their personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. They were given tips on what to look for and how to protect themselves from this most common form of cyber attack. They also received information about the importance and availability of a plethora of personal security devices that can help them feel safe on- and off-line.
Mr. Speaker, Safer Internet Day was a combination of presentations and an Expo. The seniors we able to visit and talk with representatives from the Bermuda Police Service, BF&M, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Bermuda National Library, Clarien, the Office of Ageing and Disability Services, and the Department of ICT Policy and Innovation’s Cybertips Programme.
The day ended with the “Seniors Teaching Seniors” programme. At that time, high school seniors provided one-on-one tutorial sessions for attendees, helping them navigate their personal mobile devices and sharing tips and tricks on how to make the most out of them. It was a beneficial experience for both the seniors and students.
Mr. Speaker, Safe Internet Day encourages our seniors to navigate this digital world while practicing cyber safety in their interactions. This makes them part of a global movement that encourages healthy online habits. While organisations worldwide focus this event on the youth, through the Department of ICT Policy & Innovation, the Ministry of National Security chose to focus this event on Bermuda’s ever-growing population of tech-savvy seniors.
The Internet has become an integral tool in every-day life on the Island. Our seniors also require the knowledge to allow them to navigate its dangers such as financial fraud and identity theft. This is of paramount importance since we increasingly spend more and more time using online environments.
Mr. Speaker, 2018 has marked the 4th annual Safer Internet Day in Bermuda. It is a community event with an essential purpose - the cyber safety of our seniors.
The 2018 sponsors included BF&M, Connectech, Clarien Bank, Barritt’s and the Department of ICT Policy & Innovation and I wish to thank them all for their unwavering support to the Island’s seniors.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker,