Photo - Trend Micro's Malaysian 'family' includes local TV personality Nazrudin Habibur Rahman aka Naz (2nd from right) and his wife Sheahnee Iman Lee (2nd from left), together they form the Trend Family which also include two virtual kids represented by Kent Tan (right) and Tang Ruxyn (left).
Following partnerships with national agency CyberSecurity Malaysia and the UN-backed Malaysia-headquartered International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), Trend Micro has launched a nationwide campaign using a virtual family - the Trend Family - to help drive the security message home.
Tend Micro SEA region managing director Goh Chee Hoh said the move is to help build 'online resilience among the public, "Social networks, mobile app stores, popular websites, gaming downloads, and even texts - the places where young people spend most of their time online - are not entirely cyber crime-free."
"Hackers, spammers, identity thieves and other cyber criminals are increasingly threatening our digital lives," said Goh. "With the increasing number of touch-points with the online space comes greater susceptibility to online threats: we need to act now - we need to empower families, youth and kids to build a generation of responsible digital citizens."
"The Trend family uses local personalities like Naz and Sheahnee, who are also parents in their own right and with the cooperation of CyberSecurity Malaysia and IMPACT, we aim to get more Malaysian families and youth to be aware and educated on cyber security via the Trend Family initiative," he said, adding that the campaign was in line with the national agenda to promote safe online practices.
"Trend Family is a virtual family, made up of real-life Malaysians who share personal experiences on cyber security, as well as tips on keeping their digital lives and that of their families protected through a series of articles, blog posts, social media sharing events and seminars," said Goh, adding that the Trend Family can be visited at Trend Micro's Malaysia Facebook page [/TrendMicroMY].
Time for a virtual family
"It is timely that Trend Micro introduces the Trend Family initiative in Malaysia," said CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer, Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab. "As we venture towards digitalisation, in depth awareness and education amongst the public are vital to ensure that the future of our generation isn't jeopardised. To date, the number of recorded cyber crime cases in Malaysia is on the rise and efforts like Trend Family can change the scenario and aid in developing a generation of vigilant Internet users.
"We at IMPACT are constantly looking out for opportunities and we welcome organisations like Trend Micro who are committed in making the Internet a safe and productive place for netizens," said IMPACT director centre for policy & international cooperation, Philip Victor. "Today, most of us engage at least some form of online activities and we are exposed to threats like malware, identity thefts, online business scams and many more. Therefore, initiatives like Trend Family which combines the element of fun and responsibility are crucial in ensuring an uncompromised online experience for Malaysians."
"Heading the Trend Family as the 'father' is Naz," said local personality Nazrudin Habibur Rahman. "He will focus on sharing issues in relation to general Internet safety and educating the public to be aware of the threats in the digital sphere. Information technology and the Internet have changed the way we view and interact with one another. Be it blogs, chat rooms or social media, these platforms are sometimes used for unsavoury purposes by unscrupulous individuals."
"As a parent, I believe my kids will grow up in the digital environment and I believe parents must take active responsibility in protecting and preventing our children from the abuse of the Internet," he said. "It is important that parents be made aware of the dangers lurking in the social media world and how we can be vigilant in shielding our children in a world without borders"
Sheahnee Iman Lee, founder of buggybabyboogie, plays the 'mother' of the Trend family. "As an active business person running an online business, it is most imperative that I catch up on the latest trends, info and threats in the digital sphere. Maintaining trust is important and protecting your business portal from being compromised by cyber criminals is priority. As an online entrepreneur, I want to provide a secured environment and experience for all netizens out there."
The Trend family's children will be represented by tertiary students Kent Tan, 21 and Tang Ruxyn, 21 respectively. Socially active and influential, complemented with their abilities to connect with fellow peers, the children will be opinion leaders within their communities, sharing pertinent information on cyber security.
Trend Micro's Goh said that as part of the Trend Family programme, the company will be funding RM25, 000 (US$7,800) for SMK St John, Kuala Lumpur to help refurbish the school's computer lab.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.