Microsoft and GNR join efforts to promote Safer Internet also in the metaverse

Microsoft Portugal and the National Republican Guard (GNR) come together, once again, to celebrate the Safer Internet Day, marked today, and through various awareness actions that will take place between the 7th and 14th of February, Month of Safer Internet.

In the context of rapid technological evolution, this year’s campaign will highlight the theme “Metaverse vs. Reality” and will deepen the development and impacts of the metaverse in the lives of school-age children, in contexts of learning and navigation. With the aim of promoting the responsible use of technology, the initiative will address topics such as digital security, online user rights, privacy, data protection, social networks, and cyberbullying.

Andrés Ortolá, Director General of Microsoft Portugal, highlights: “Technology is a powerful tool that can significantly improve our lives, but it is important to ensure its responsible and safe use, especially in the metaverse, which is now a growing reality in our lives and that our children still do not fully dominate. and virtual is increasingly tenuous.”

According to Raquel Valente, Captain of the GNR, “the digital revolution we are witnessing has promoted the rapid integration of technology into our lives. It is essential to ensure that young people are informed about the dangers of the Internet and know how they can protect themselves. Through collaboration with Microsoft Portugal, we intend, through the approximately 400 members of the Criminal Prevention and Community Policing structure in the entire area of responsibility of the GNR and within the scope of the “Safe School Programme”, to raise awareness of online prevention measures, including in “ metaverso” Thus, in the period indicated, the Guard military will conduct various actions with the school community, with the aim of raising awareness of the need to prevent risky behavior inherent in the use of the internet.”

The sessions will be aimed at primary and secondary school students from across the country, and through GNR soldiers and more than 100 volunteers from Microsoft Portugal. The goal is to reach as many schools and students as possible, where the military from the Criminal Prevention and Community Policing structure develops the “Safe School” program.

The metaverse is a set of technologies that allow representing and establishing connections between the real world and the virtual world, between people, places, things, and processes. To strengthen security in the metaverse, it is essential to invest in the principles of privacy, security, and data protection, including strong authentication when accessing accounts or applications and securing infrastructures, including networks, servers, and devices.

Microsoft Portugal is a founding member of the Safer Internet Consortium and for nine consecutive years, it has joined the GNR to mark Safer Internet Month in February. Celebrating Safer Internet Day for 19 years, the technology also announced today the “Global Online Safety Survey 2023: Perceptions of parents and children about online safety”, in which it analyzes, in 16 countries, the perceptions of teenagers and parents about internet safety and related risky behaviors.

According to the Microsoft study, 69% of respondents experienced at least one risk in the last year and 42% of people became less confident in using the internet. Among the main risks identified, disinformation stands out (51%); personal risks (42%) such as hate speech, cyberbullying, harassment, abuse, and threats of violence and violent content (39%) such as graphic violence, terrorist and extremist content. More information about this study is here.

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