Microsoft and GNR celebrate 10 years of Safer Internet with new awareness actions

Microsoft Portugal and the National Republican Guard (GNR) come together, for the tenth consecutive year, to mark Safer Internet Day, scheduled for February 7th.

The commemorative session will take place next Wednesday, February 7, 2024, in the NOS cinemas at CascaiShopping, at 9:30 am, where around 400 children and 100 seniors will be present.

Participating in this session will be Andrés Ortolá, General Director of Microsoft Portugal, Colonel Tirocinado Gonçalo Nuno Silva Goncalves de Carvalho of the Republican National Guard, Carla Bonito, Director of CascaiShopping, Carlos Soares, Operations Director of Cinemas NOS, Carlos Carreiras, President of Cascais City Council and Nuno Santos, manager of McDonald’s at CascaiShopping, among other senior representatives of public bodies.

Andrés Ortolá, General Director of Microsoft Portugal, highlights: “Ten years after the first joint initiative with GNR, we continue to believe that these sessions have made it possible to raise awareness, alert and train students, parents and educators on the risks of the digital world, taking into account takes into account the progressive exposure and use of technological tools by younger people. Investing in digital literacy means being aware that we are enhancing the concept of citizenship through mutual respect, in the same way in the physical world as in the digital world. We are committed to working with GNR, with the school community and society in general to raise awareness among the Portuguese about the importance of digital security and risks, in a world where the line between real and virtual is increasingly blurred.”

According to Gonçalo Carvalho, Colonel Tirocinado of the GNR, “this partnership between the GNR and Microsoft, which celebrates a decade of existence this year, translates into the best the concept of Community Policing represents for the community, a joint effort, multidisciplinary, integrated, collaborative, imminently centred on people and, in this case, with special affection, focused on our children, young people and elderly. In this way, we will continue tirelessly, once again, side-by-side with Microsoft Portugal, to raise awareness of the risks and dangers associated with the digital environment, promoting the responsible use of the endless potential that this environment currently provides, so that we can all contribute to a more human, inclusive, supportive and safe community.”

The free sessions will be aimed at primary and secondary school students across the country, and through more than 400 GNR military personnel and more than 100 volunteers from Microsoft Portugal. The objective is to reach as many schools and students as possible, where the military from the Criminal Prevention and Community Policing structure develop the “Safe School Program, and throughout its area of action, throughout the country, the Guard Nacional Republicana is responsible for 618,057 students, in 4,201 schools.

Over the next few months, the two entities will develop a set of awareness-raising actions with educational institutions, for students, teachers and guardians, and the senior community, to reinforce digital literacy and raise awareness of the basic principles of Internet security at the national level.

The awareness-raising actions will be carried out by military personnel and volunteers from Microsoft Portugal, who will have the opportunity, during this year, to address topics such as the importance of Digital Citizenship, Artificial Intelligence and how it can help in everyday life, dangers of misinformation and fake news, cyberbullying and identity theft, privacy and data security and internet addiction.

As sessões gratuitas serão dirigidas a estudantes do ensino básico e secundário de todo o país, e através de mais de 400 militares da GNR e de mais de 100 voluntários da Microsoft Portugal. O objetivo é chegar ao maior número de escolas e alunos possíveis, onde os militares da estrutura de Prevenção Criminal e Policiamento Comunitário desenvolvem o Programa “Escola Segura”, sendo que, em toda a sua área de ação, em todo o país, a Guarda Nacional Republicana tem à sua responsabilidade 618 057 alunos, em 4 201 escolas.

Microsoft Portugal is a founding member of the Safer Internet Consortium and has been associated with the GNR for ten consecutive years to mark Safer Internet Month in February. During this initiative, which began in 2014, the following data stands out:
· 372,274 students involved from the 1st to 3rd cycle of education
· 34,553 teachers and guardians
· 4,232 sessions from north to south of the country
· 1,973 schools involved in awareness sessions
· 4,893 volunteers involved from Microsoft and GNR.

According to the update of Microsoft’s annual study, Online Safety Survey 2024, 67% of respondents experienced at least one risk in the last year, with females reporting the most in the different types of risk, particularly in terms of content with sexual content. , where the difference is 6% compared to males (25% vs 19%). The inability to limit time online is the biggest challenge for parents, with 66% of teenagers reporting at least one addictive behaviour in the past year. Distrust in using the internet increased by 3% compared to 2023 and currently stands at 45%. The data also shows that 87% of respondents are concerned about the type of use that is made using AI, especially when it comes to fraud, scams or deepfakes. The main risks identified include misinformation (50%); personal risks (44%), such as hate speech, cyberbullying, harassment, abuse and threats of violence and violent content (34%), such as graphic violence, terrorist and extremist content.

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