Fortinet donates to Manila schools 1,400 books on cyber security

HELPING raise online-protection awareness among the youth, Fortinet Phils. has donated 1,400 complimentary copies of the children’s book Cyber Safe: A Dog’s Guide to Internet Security to chosen schools in the City of Manila.

Coauthored by Renee Tarun, deputy chief information security officer and vice president of information security at Fortinet, the learning material contains an easy-to-understand introduction to possible dangers for children when they go online for school, video games, and streaming video shows, among others.

According to Fortinet Phils. Country Manager Louie Castañeda, the Covid-19 public-health crisis has hooked youngsters to the “Web,” particularly when online classes were implemented nationwide during lockdown periods.

“Internet usage among children dramatically increased amid the pandemic, especially with the shift to remote and hybrid learning,” he said. “This [has] created additional threats that impact children’s privacy, safety and security…Because of children’s little understanding of these cyber threats, they may be more vulnerable targets for cyber criminals.”

Part of the company’s commitment to educate the global community on cyber safety, the book serves as a means to address the industry’s skills gap. Castañeda noted: “Fortinet is helping inculcate good cyber security hygiene among children by helping teach them [on] how to behave, and keep themselves safe online from an early age.”

Linking with the Department of Education (DepEd) in the City of Manila, the global provider of broad, integrated and automated cyber security solutions turned over 1,000, 300 and 100 copies of the book to P. Gomez Elementary School, Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School, and Ramon Avanceña High School, respectively.

“We are grateful for this collaboration with Fortinet,” Dr. Maria Magdalena M. Lim, CESO V-Schools Division superintendent, said during the virtual turnover. “We hope these children’s books donated to our schools here in Manila will help guide not only our students, [but also] their parents and teachers, so we can keep our children safe from cyber threats.”

Apart from the book-donation drive, the firm will also give free training through the Fortinet Training Institute’s “Network Security Expert Certification” program, making the NSE 1 and 2 available to DepEd public-school teachers.

This initiative offers eight levels of certifications—all pro bono, self-paced courses—ranging from beginner to highly technical curriculum that helps develop and improve foundational cyber security skills of all ages.

“The…book complements our award-winning training curriculum,” added Castañeda. “We hope that through our collaboration and this initiative with DepEd-Manila, we can advance the cyber skill sets in children as well as teachers, creating a safer digital environment for all.”