Microsoft 'runs' for online kid safety campaign

More than two thousand runners trooped to the Fort Bonifacio Global City on Sunday for the IE8 8 Run, joining Microsoft in their campaign for intensified protection of children in cyberspace.

In line with the launch of its new and safer web browser Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), Microsoft staged this advocacy event which aimed to raise awareness on online child safety and the importance of protecting children from the dangers posed by cyberspace.

Part of the proceeds of the run were donated by Microsoft to UNICEF, in support of its Child Protection Program.

“For Microsoft, online safety is a priority. Through this campaign, we are raising awareness about the steps we can take to protect more children from potential threats,” said Chay Saputil, product manager for Windows Client, Microsoft Philippines, who opened the event.

“We are committed to increasing awareness of online safety issues and cultivating partnerships like this one with UNICEF to take a stand for the protection of Filipino children,” added Saputil.

Runners participated in one of the three races: the 2-mile Safer Run (3.2km), 4-mile Easier Run (6.4km), and 8-mile Faster Run (12.8km).

Top finishers received trophies, medals and cash prizes.

In the 8-mile race the honours were taken out by national athletes, Eduardo Buenavista for the Male Category and Christabel Martes for the Female Category. In the 4-mile race, first place went to Christopher Ulboc Jr. and Nhea Ann Barcena, while Nelbert Ducusin and Serenata Suluan emerged as winners in the 2-mile race event.

Dedicating the event to children, organizers also encouraged participants to bring their children along. Runners aged 12 and under competed in a special race category as well.

In spite of the rain, 12-year-old Norman Apolinar and 11-year-old Carmela Sugalan, blazed their way across the finish line, finishing first in the boys’ and girls’ kids category. Placing second were Alex Ballester, 11 and Michelle de Vera, 11 who were closely followed by Patrick Callano, 9 and Michaela Guieb, 12 in third place.

A giant inflatable slide, which was popular among the young attendees, made the activity more kid-friendly. Family and friends of the runners were also able to view the race online through a live video broadcast at the IE8 8 Mile Run website.

According to UNICEF, recent figures show that a single child pornography site receives a million hits a month and around 100,000 pedophiles are involved in organized pornography rings around the world. Moreover, victims are reportedly becoming younger, with 80 percent of them estimated to be less than 10 years old.

“The Philippines has no comprehensive law at the moment to prevent the spread of child pornography and the problem in the region and country is getting far worse. UNICEF, together with other child rights actors, is now working for the passage of the anti-child pornography bill, which will be a great achievement for efforts to protect children and prevent the problem escalating even further,” UNICEF Representative Vanessa Tobin said.

“The Internet has become a new playground for paedophiles and sex offenders. The use of children and young people in pornographic materials is a grave violation of their rights, whatever their role in the process. The Philippines is believed to be one of the producers of pornographic material involving children, which is then sent around the world, often via the internet. We are happy that Microsoft is playing a role in making the Internet safe for children,” Tobin added.

Aside from educating consumers, Microsoft also offers tools designed to protect users’ privacy and data. “We recognize that online safety is quickly becoming a major concern for parents in the Internet age. As part of our efforts to increase online safety, we have introduced new features in IE8 to address users’ concerns, in fact a study by NSS Labs indicates that Internet Explorer 8 blocks two to four times as many malicious sites as other browsers on the market today. said Saputil.

“Through the IE8 8 Mile Run we are supporting the campaign for online child protection and encouraging parents and their children to develop healthy habits in terms of exercising and navigating the Internet,” Saputil said.

After awarding the fastest runners, finishers also had the chance to win raffle items from the race partners. Prizes included an HP Mini Note laptop, a Windows Mobile Phone, a Zune MP3 player and other special items from Mizuno and Fitness First.


Post a Comment