Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cybert Smarts

GUELPH, Ontario September 29, 2011 - Grade 12 students from St. James Catholic High School teamed up with older adults from Guelph Ontario to raise awareness of cybercrime.

With the support of the Retired Teachers of Ontario, this intergenerational team created a flash mob event at a local mall and produced this short video.

The effort included help from Guelph Police Services, Trellis Mental Health and Developmental Services and the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association.

Cyber Risks and Consequences - What Canadians Need to Know

OTTAWA, September 28, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadians know far more about how to use digital technologies than about how to protect themselves and others from vulnerabilities created by those technologies. To counter the growing range of cyber threats, this gap in knowledge and awareness needs to be closed, says a Conference Board of Canada report, It's All About You: Building Capacity in Cyber Security.

"As individuals, we fail to make good cyber-risk decisions because we lack a thorough understanding of how we are vulnerable and what could happen as a result. We therefore do not participate effectively in what should be a "whole-of-nation effort" to counter threats to people, organizations and the country," said John Neily, Director, National Security and Public Safety.

The report finds that knowledge and awareness gap exists at three levels:

...Scope - Cyber threats exist at the national, organizational and individual levels. Most users pay attention only to threats that affect them directly, such as spam and viruses. But governments and businesses must contend with threats to digital infrastructure stemming from intentional sabotage, human error, accidents, and natural events. They also must deal with the risks of online crime, espionage and (military or ideological) conflict.

...Technology - When the internet was designed, security was not one of the priorities. Digital technology makes it too easy for cyber-criminals, cyber-spies, and cyber-activists to harm businesses and challenge the power of governments.

...People - Individuals represent the greatest vulnerability to digital security, but they also are indispensible in making cyberspace more secure. People must become more aware of threats and their potential consequences. However, it has been difficult to date to motivate the average user to take cyber threats seriously.

Leaders in both the private sector and government - both of which have made major investments in digital infrastructure —need to deepen their knowledge of the potential threats, so they can improve the effectiveness of cyber security policies, programs, and technologies. In addition, enhancing the digital skills and literacy of Canadian users and improving the guidance parents, teachers, and peers give to young people concerning the use of digital technologies should be a priority.

The report, which is available from the Conference Board of Canada's e-library, ( was produced with the support of the Centre for National Security. The Centre provides a trusted forum for public and private sector organizations to engage with each other on the critical issues affecting Canada's national security today and in the future.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Recalled Acer Aspire notebooks can short circuit and overheat posing a burn hazard to consumers

September 16, 2011 - from Health & Safety Watch

The Electrical Safety Authority reports of a recall involving the Aspire notebook computer by Acer America Corporation. An internal microphone wire under the palm rest can short circuit and overheat. This poses a potential burn hazard to consumers.

Acer - Aspire notebook computer


Model Numbers

Two incidents were reported in Singapore and one reported in Taiwan.

Recalled notebooks were sold by Asia Link Computer Inc., Best Buy Canada Ltd., D&H Canada ULC, IBM Canada Ltd. (Supercom), Ingram Micro Inc., Intertan Canada Ltd., Pro Data, Inc., Synnex-EMJ Canada Ltd., and Tech Data Canada Corp. prior to September 15, 2009.

Corrective Action:

Consumers should stop using the recalled notebook computers immediately and contact Acer to determine if their notebook is affected and to receive a free repair.

Consumer Contact:

For additional information, contact Acer toll-free at (866) 695-2237 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Staying safe in a wired world

Innovative new resource educates kids about being safe and healthy online

TORONTO, September 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Kids are becoming increasingly connected through the Internet, and issues with netiquette, cyberbullying and security and privacy are emerging at younger and younger ages. This fall, Ophea is launching Connect[ED]:, a free online resource on Internet safety for students in Grades 4-6.

"Over 94% of Canadian children access the Internet at home. Our goal is to help these students examine and develop their own online practices and behaviours in the same way they would in real life situations," says Heather Gardner, Curriculum Consultant at Ophea. "This resource will help children apply real life behaviour to life online."

Children need to be educated about safe online practices, educators need support staying up-to-date with the online activities of students, and parents need greater knowledge of the world online to be equipped to deal with issues that may arise.

Developed with these needs in mind, this web-based resource (also available on DVD) teaches students in Grade 4, 5 and 6 how to be safer in an ever-changing world of technology. Connect[ED] engages kids in a fun and interactive way through video episodes and related activities. It provides educators and parents with the tools they need to comfortably and effectively protect their students and children during daily online activities.

The resource will be delivered to schools across Ontario in September and is also available online. Ophea, Kids Help Phone, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Education are delivering seven regional training sessions on the resource to ensure that teachers are supported in educating their students about Internet safety.

Connect[ED]: Real Life Online was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education as part of their commitment to ensure that every Ontario public school student is educated in Internet safety. The resource was developed in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police, Kids Help Phone, University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and TVOKids. For more information and to access the resource, visit

Ophea is a not-for-profit organization led by the vision that all kids value, participate in, and make a lifelong commitment to healthy active living. Since 1921, Ophea has been working in partnership with school boards, public health, government, non-government organizations, and private sector companies to support the health and learning of children and youth through the provision of programs and services that support healthy schools and healthy communities. To learn more, visit