Consumer Action and Microsoft team up to teach Internet safety

Consumer Action and Microsoft co-hosted a roundtable in Milpitas, CA as part of their ongoing partnership to promote Internet security.
Published: Monday, October 31, 2011
Nelson Santiago trains participants on the Internet Safety module.

In early October, Consumer Action and Microsoft co-hosted a roundtable in Milpitas, CA as part of their ongoing partnership to promote Internet security. Community-based organizations attended the event, which boasted a blend of instruction and interactive exercises to help participants teach consumers how to protect themselves and their personal assets when using the Internet.

The event began with introductory remarks from Jonathan Noble of Microsoft and Kathy Li, Director of Consumer Action's San Francisco office. The training for this event was led by two of Consumer Action's community outreach managers, Nelson Santiago and Linda Williams.

Williams presented the session on "Why Adults Learn," an interactive discussion geared at helping participants understand ways to teach adult clients effectively. Consumer Action develops resources geared to adult learners, and Williams emphasized specific strategies to help community educators engage participants in a manner that best meets each individual's learning style.

Santiago provided an engaging combination of lecture, hands-on activities and educational games to reinforce the Internet security information found in the Internet Safety educational module. The activities helped foster team building and networking among agencies as they competed to answer the most questions. Among other approaches, Santiago emphasized the importance of pointing out personal incentives for learning when presenting the materials in the community since participants are more likely to engage with teachers if they know there is something to be gained from their efforts.

The free Internet Safety educational module, created by Consumer Action in partnership with Microsoft, includes: Internet Safety: A computer user's guide to privacy and security: A brochure available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese Internet Safety Trainer's Manual: Questions and answers about protecting your privacy and security on the computer Internet Safety lesson plan with class activities Internet Safety PowerPoint slides.

(The complete module can be viewed by clicking here.)

"The threats are no longer just about identity theft," says Executive Director Ken McEldowney. "Potential dangers now encompass cyberstalking and cyberbullying, among others. If we hope to stay ahead of the many ways consumers can fall victim to harmful and deceptive practices, we need to engage the communities most at risk of not knowing the dangers."

Evaluations of the event showed that 50% of participants left the training having gained a better understanding of Internet safety and the potential risks on the Web. More than 55% of participants strongly agreed that their participation in the roundtable had fully equipped them to lead their own training efforts in their local communities. Consumer Action trainings aim to encourage interaction among fellow participants, and 77% of the attendees agreed that we had supplied ample opportunities for networking with others in their fields.




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