Black Immigrant Daily News
Young Internet users are making a fresh commitment to staying safe online while making the Internet a better place for all.
The commitment came from students at Pembroke Hall High and Denham Town High schools as they celebrated Safer Internet Day with Jamaica’s digital operator, Digicel.
Held under the theme, “Let’s Talk About It”, hundreds of students participated in school talks hosted by Digicel, in tandem with the Digicel Foundation, the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), and the National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC).
The meaningful conversations about safe Internet use also entered the online space via Digicel’s social media pages.
The lively discussions dealt with the risks associated with Internet use, including how young users can develop the skills to become better online citizens. Students openly expressed their concern about unsafe online experiences, citing frequent encounters with predators, cyberbullies and harassers.
To deal with these situations, the students were advised to block and report offenders online, and report the matter to a trusted adult.
Participant, president of the NSSC and sixth form St Hugh’s student Dannyelle-Jordan Bailey shared: “We’re extremely happy to partner with Digicel for Safer Internet Day. As leaders, we must be cyber-smart while we navigate the online space, and accept responsibility for the role we play in empowering our peers.”
“The NSSC continues to focus on defending students’ rights and promoting student responsibility,” she added.
Following an animated and informative session on the OCA’s ongoing ‘Be Social, Be Smart’ campaign, Public Education and Special Projects Manager for the OCA, Latoya Minott-Hall, provided tips on how to navigate online/social media safely.
never releasing personal information online,
never meeting up with strangers met online,
and never sharing passwords with anyone but their parents.
Quality Assurance Officer at SafeSpot JA, Anna-Maria Dawkins-Johnson reminded students about the 24-hour SafeSpot helpline, which offers free and confidential help to children and teens via phone at 888-SafeSpot, on social media @safespotJA, and the SafeSpotJA channel in the BiP messaging app.
Other initiatives for Safer Internet Day included a BiP app quiz, where students won phone credit and a tablet via the app’s ‘Skoolaz Rule’ channel.
To round off the discussions, Digicel hosted a Twitter Spaces conversation titled, ‘Let’s Talk About Making the Internet a Safe Space” @digiceljamaica, featuring perspectives from NSSC President Dannyelle-Jordan Bailey, Quality Assurance Officer at SafeSpot JA Anna-Maria Dawkins-Johnson, Jamaica Constabulary Force Inspector Shaunjaye Mitchell, and Senior Digital Activation Analyst at Digicel Group Shanique Thompson.
Senior Operations Manager at Digicel Foundation, Jodi-Ann McFarlane commented: “Our student leaders are now more empowered and equipped to become better digital citizens and can now use their knowledge to guide and support their peers.
“As a digital operator, we have an obligation to ensure that this digital generation develops the right approach to making online a safe space for all, and we are happy to have our partners in support,” she said.
Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in more than 100 countries in February. The event is an initiative by the European Union-based, InSafe, a network of awareness centres that promote safer use of the Internet.
As Jamaica’s digital lifestyle partner and preferred Internet service provider, local activities are spearheaded by Digicel to promote the safe and responsible use of the Internet and technology, especially by young people.