Microsoft partners CyberSecurity Malaysia for 'Safer Internet Month'
10 March 2011 (MaxIT Online)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 10 March 2011: - Microsoft Malaysia and CyberSecurity Malaysia launched 'Safer Internet Month,' from 10 March - 10 April 2011, a campaign that promotes safer and more responsible use of online technologies and services, especially amongst children and young people.

The nationwide campaign is inspired by Safer Internet Day, part of a global campaign to promote a healthy Internet for all. Organized by Insafe and co-founded by the European Union, Safer Internet Day hosts a series of events and educational materials aimed at helping parents and children alike in recognizing online security threats. In 2010, more than 500 Safer Internet Day events were held in 65 countries and regions. Globally, Microsoft leadership personnel and volunteers assist to host a range of Internet safety-focused events and activities as well.

To add to this worldwide campaign, Microsoft and CyberSecurity Malaysia have come together to dedicate an entire month to online safety education and awareness.

The theme of the campaign is "Stop. Think. Connect."1, which will underline the fact that it is important to be aware of online threats.

Internet usage in Malaysia has grown a staggering rate over the past decade, particularly with the surge of social media and networking adoption. Malaysia is ranked seventh in Asia with a total of 9.4 million Internet users. Malaysians are ranked 12th in Asia with an average of 14.1 hours spent on the Internet per user1.

While efficiency and connectivity are clear merits of the digital lifestyle, there is also a higher risk of cyber crime including fraud, forgery, hacking, unauthorized access, and much more. Security is a source of worry even for the most sophisticated and ardent of online users too. Safer Internet Month is an effort to address these issues, deliver suggestions and prescriptive guidance on safeguarding the online experience.

Ananth Lazarus, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia, said, "At Microsoft, we believe it's our joint responsibility to help make the Internet a safer place for people, especially children, to learn and communicate. It's important to realize that while we traditionally impart notions of safety in our daily lives, that wisdom doesn't necessarily extend to providing guidance in protecting oneself online, where all of today's technological potentials offer both good and harm. We are committed to ensuring that children are educated to the value of identity protection and online privacy, and recognize the wonderful opportunities the Internet brings, as well as the potential threats it could have."

Lt. Col. Husin Jazri (Retired), Chief Executive Officer, CyberSecurity Malaysia, explains, "Safer Internet Month 2011 is our commitment in raising awareness about safe internet computing in Malaysia. At CyberSecurity Malaysia, we continuously study, analyse, research and innovate to stay ahead and maintain a technological edge of our economy. We have introduced CyberSAFE Programs to educate Malaysians on the positive use of the Internet and Cyber999 Help Centre for Internet users to channel their cyber security incidents. And, the collaboration with Microsoft will aide in raising the bar on the do's and don'ts of transacting online."

"The Safer Internet Month will see many on ground activations that resonate the message of online safety; across children, youth, parents and teachers. Amongst the activities are the cyber safety awareness talks in schools located in Klang Valley and seminars for parents and teachers as they play a very important role in inculcating the positive use of Internet. "We will also organise online competitions such as CyberSAFE Cyber Treasure Hunt and CyberSAFE Content competition, where we get participants to tell us what they know about cyber safety through digital content like posters, wallpapers, videos, and others. Internet safety is far greater than just the responsibility of any single organisation or individual and this month allows us to engage the efforts of stakeholders on all fronts including industry." Added Husin.

Dato' Dr. Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad, Deputy Secretary General (Policy) at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), said, "MOSTI wants to empower Malaysians with knowledge in order to protect their businesses, property and families. And, we are truly pleased that organizations such as Microsoft are taking proactive steps to help increase the level of awareness among our citizens, especially schoolchildren, to help them use the Internet positively. "