PROVIDENCE, R.I. and SAN DIEGO, Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IDT911, a leading provider of identity and data risk management, resolution and education services, and Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), announced the winner of the inaugural Girl Scout online privacy essay contest: San Diego Girl Scout Amira Walia. IDT911 launched and sponsored the essay contest for Girl Scouts who had earned a Mobile Privacy Patch by participating in ITRC's Hands-on Privacy Workshops for Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts were challenged to write an essay detailing how privacy has affected their lives and to share experiences that have informed how they manage their mobile, online and social media privacy settings.
Amira was awarded a $2,500 scholarship by IDT911 for her winning essay which detailed the experiences that have made her think responsibly about the information she shares online. Amira particularly impressed the judges with her metaphor for the dangers of oversharing online: "Everything posted on social media is like toothpaste. It cannot be squeezed back into its tube. What is posted on the internet is forever public, and no longer private," wrote Amira in her essay.
Amira was also awarded an all-expenses paid trip to the Privacy Xchange Forum in Carefree, Arizona, where she shared the stage with the likes of Edward Snowden and former NSA Inspector General Joel Brenner, and spoke about her winning essay and future goals to more than 200 industry experts.
ITRC's Hands-on Privacy Workshops for Girl Scouts were funded by a grant from the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment. They were developed in partnership with the Better Business Bureau to provide educational information about online safety, management of privacy settings on mobile devices and online accounts, and identity theft risk minimization. Girl Scouts who attended the sessions and brought a family member or friend were awarded the Mobile Privacy Patch. In 2017, the goal is to rollout both the privacy workshops and the essay contest nationally.
"Building education and awareness about the risks of identity theft is a core part of the Identity Theft Resource Center's mission," said Eva Velasquez, President/CEO of ITRC. "Our online privacy workshops for Girl Scouts were designed to give young people practical tools and best practices to keep themselves safe online. The initial program in the Southern California region has been highly successful and we can't wait to see how many young Girl Scouts we can help stay safe online as we roll the program out across the country."
"Amira's brilliant essay demonstrated some of the challenges that young people run into when it comes to managing their online privacy," said Matt Cullina, CEO of IDT911. "It is truly inspiring and heartening to see young people coming to grips with the manifold privacy implications that their online and social lives create. The work that ITRC is carrying out to educate people is phenomenally important and IDT911 wanted to encourage the Girl Scouts to give voice to some of their experiences and learnings from the sessions. We're excited to see the program and essay contest rollout nationally next year."
To learn more about ITRC's Privacy Workshops for Girl Scouts, please visit http://www.idtheftcenter.org/hands-on-privacy-workshop-san-diego2.html.
IDT911™ is the leading provider of services that help businesses and their customers defend against data breaches and identity theft. IDT911's unique approach—delivering proactive protection, preventive education, and swift resolution—offers unrivaled support for more than 660 client partners and 17.5 million households. With its wholly owned subsidiary, IDT911 Consulting™, IDT911 delivers information security and data privacy expertise to help businesses avert and respond to data loss. Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company has several locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Ireland to serve partners in Europe.
About the Identity Theft Resource Center
Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. The ITRC provides no cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help Mobile App. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org