Get smart, Get safe – this was the slogan for two days of community awareness training spearheaded by the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (NTRC), as part of efforts to sensitize businesses and the general public about online safety.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Director of the NTRC Apollo Knights highlighted the objectives of the online safety training. Mr. Knights revealed that there is a website Getsafe which has been in operation since April 2019, funded by the United Kingdom Commonwealth Security Programme in partnership with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines where individuals and businesses can get information regarding online safety.

Mr Knight Further noted that the NTRC has been continuously working with primary and secondary schools through presentations to educate the students about online safety and protection, and also through the development of a cyber security program at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, that is tuition free to persons that are accepted. This was done with support from, the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Internet Society of SVG and the National Insurance Services.

Chief Executive Officer of the medicinal Cannabis Authority and former Minister of Telecommunications Dr. Jerrol Thompson who played an integral part in the realisation of the entity the NTRC, in his remarks to the participants noted that there has been significant improvements in legislation as it relates to electronic and cyber protection for the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He highlighted that there is a computer emergency response team (CERT)that is in place to assist in the prevention of online fraud. Speaking from a personal experience where he was defrauded online, Dr. Thompson encouraged persons to be more vigilant and to educate themselves as to avoid falling victim to online fraudsters.

Chairman of the Internet Society Chapter of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Kerry Kerr explained that his organisation’s mission is to provide leadership in internet related standards, education, access and policy for all persons around the world and holding internet providers and developers to task. He shared that his organization will be establishing a task force to aid in the prevention of online criminal activity.

Facilitators for the workshop were: Paul Bayer and Liz Stanton of the United Kingdom. Paul has been a cybercrime trainer since 2002, designed developed Cyber Crime training and trained police from all European nations. In his remarks he noted that the skills needed were already there and his and Liz Stanton were on hand to assist in the implementation of these skills.

Liz Stanton is a senior trainer and family protection manager, advisor and presenter to the get safe online team, she is also a former police with twenty-five years experience.

The awareness training was launched On Monday 24th, February 2020 at the NIS conference room facility. It addressed online child protection, protection of community organisations and the safety of businesses online.

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