Cincinnati Bell Outreach Helps Students Stay Cyber-Safe
Program Has Reached 30,000 Students So Far This School Year - With More to Come
CINCINNATI - [January 16, 2014] - Thousands of children and young adults throughout Greater Cincinnati received new smartphones, tablets and personal computers over the holidays. And Cincinnati Bell is reaching out to students and parents to help ensure those devices are used responsibly.
This is the third year Cincinnati Bell has sponsored an education program for middle and high school students and their parents to provide information and advice on the responsible use of personal devices. The free, one-hour course - "Responsible Technology" -- is taught by Cincinnati Bell's Director of Relationship Marketing, Steve Smith, and focuses on three common technology issues confronting young people: sexting, online privacy and cyber-bullying.
With the company's support and in partnership with local law enforcement, Smith launched the program in 2011 when tragic stories of teen bullying and suicides linked to sexting were first making news. "Cincinnati Bell provides many next-generation technology solutions like smartphones, tablets, internet and entertainment apps, and we feel a responsibility to educate the community and to help families and students use these technologies safely and responsibly," Smith said.
Smith, a former high school coach and teacher who holds a master's degree in education from Xavier University, has given more than 100 presentations so far this school year and estimates that he has reached out to more than 100,000 students and parents during the three years he has taught the program. Smith has 14 additional school presentations scheduled through February.
"The middle school and high school students I visit represent the first generation of digital citizens," Smith explained. "They don't know a time when there weren't smartphones, Facebook or Twitter. That's why Cincinnati Bell is making this investment: to ensure that students understand the problems that can occur when this technology is misused and parents know how to help their kids use these devices responsibly."
"We feel it's important to teach our students how to protect their digital footprint and how to become responsible digital citizens," said Peggy Hock, R.N., nurse at McAuley High School, who has established the program as a biennial event at the school. Hock manages the health and safety programs at the school. "We want them to use social media in a way that positively affects their lives both now and forever."
Smith points out that today's youth have an unbridled desire to let people know everything about what's going on in their lives, which can have serious consequences. During his presentation, Smith reminds students that while mistakes in life are often forgotten, the Internet never forgets.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Steve Smith will be presenting to students at McAuley High School on Friday, January 17, at 10:15 AM. To arrange an interview with Steve Smith and learn more about Cincinnati Bell's Responsible Technology program, please contact Debra DeCourcy at Northlich at 287-1841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cincinnati Bell
With headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB) provides integrated communications solutions - including local and long distance voice, data, high-speed internet, entertainment and wireless services - that keep residential and business customers in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton connected with each other and with the world. In addition, enterprise customers across the United States rely on CBTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary, for efficient, scalable office communications systems and end-to-end IT solutions. Cincinnati Bell also is the majority owner of CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE), which provides best-in-class data center colocation services to enterprise customers through its facilities with fully redundant power and cooling solutions that are currently located in the Midwest, Texas, Arizona, London and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.cincinnatibell.com.
Director, Corporate Communications