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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 17, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 20x
Be safe in there! - LGBT Technology Partnership helps protect our community online
Section One
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Be safe in there! - LGBT Technology Partnership helps protect our community online

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The LGBT Technology Partnership, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that the implementation of public policies addresses the unique technological needs of LGBT communities, today announced a new collaboration with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) beginning with the joint launch of a series of cyber-security tips to encourage greater awareness about online safety and related issues affecting LGBT communities.

The NCSA, in collaboration with government, corporate, nonprofit, and academic sectors, educates and empowers digital citizens to use the Internet securely and safely to protect themselves, the technology they use, and the digital assets we all share.

'We are excited about our partnership with NCSA and disseminating LGBT-specific tips about staying safer online,' said Christopher Wood, LGBT Technology Partnership co-founder. 'Studies show that LGBT communities are often the earliest adopters of new technology. The LGBT Technology Partnership's mission is to make sure LGBT communities are aware of the significant benefits but also the underlying challenges that come with the early adoption of new technologies. We are working with organizations like NCSA to make technological experiences safer for all our communities.'

STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
This collaborative effort includes working with the NCSA to incorporate 'STOP. THINK. CONNECT.' messaging into an LGBT cyber-education toolkit with fact sheets, tip sheets, and posters. Both organizations will also hold joint Twitter chat events about LGBT cyber-safety issues, including one in June during LGBT Pride Month.

More information about the NCSA/LGBT Technology Partnership joint effort is available at http://lgbttechpartnership.org/about-us/supporters/.

'The Internet pervades our daily lives like never before, and for specific populations such as the LGBT community, the Web is an integral tool to organize and stay connected,' said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. 'We believe that everyone in the world with access to the Internet should be well-educated about the importance of online safety. At the same time, with the LGBT communities typically among the ranks as the earliest adopters of new technologies, we're excited to offer a more tailored awareness effort to members of this community.'

A WELL-WIRED COMMUNITY
According to information provided to SGN by NCSA, there is an increased need for ongoing cyber-security education in LGBT communities through awareness initiatives. Past research has shown that an increased focus on cyber-security awareness in the LGBT community is a necessity in a society where:

o 59 percent of Gay men and 58 percent of Lesbians are more likely to say they rely on technology to help manage their hectic lifestyles (2012 LGBT Community Survey, Community Marketing Inc.);

o 27 percent of Gay men (mainly 18- to 29-year-olds) and 18 percent of Lesbians are early adopters of new technology products within their peer lifestyle networks (2012 LGBT Community Survey, Community Marketing Inc.);

o Smartphone ownership among Gay and Lesbian consumers is almost one-third higher than the national average, with 87 percent of LGBTs owning smartphones compared to 62 percent nationally (2012 LGBT Community Survey, Community Marketing Inc.);

o Nine in 10 LGBT students have experienced some form of bullying at school (It Gets Better Campaign and Stop Bullying Now!); and

o 'Meeting online is now dramatically more common among same-sex couples than any way of meeting has ever been for heterosexual or same-sex couples in the past' (Stanford University study, 'How Couples Meet and Stay Together').

For more details about the new partnership and/or LGBT cyber-education materials, visit www.lgbttechpartnership.org.

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