By: Fran Rosch, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Business, Symantec
One aspect of working for Symantec I appreciate is the collaboration with our employees, nonprofit organizations, government leaders and the business community to help to serve our communities, have a positive impact, and make a difference in the world through our digital safety and security work.
Today I’d like to highlight a specific group – foster youth – and a new initiative we are launching to help protect them.
What many of us do not realize is that young people in foster care face a range of unique risks when it comes to identity theft protection and cyber security risks. The nature of a foster youth’s life, moving frequently, with numerous people having access to their personally identifiable information, makes them more vulnerable to identity theft than their peers.
I am pleased to officially announce FAST, a new program to help address these risks for foster youth. With FAST, which translates to Fostering a Secure Tomorrow, we are bringing together our world-class products and industry expertise, and making critical partnerships to help educate foster youth on the dangers of identity theft. FAST is also helping foster youth to restore their identities and will work to curb the heightened risks faced by foster youth through a variety of approaches including:
- Education for nonprofits: In-person trainings, workshops and webinars for organizations that represent foster youth, offering free online resources and toolkits to help bring awareness to behaviors that place foster youth at risk of identity theft.
- Tools for youth: Donating our Norton solutions to foster youth and foster youth nonprofit organizations to help them better manage and protect their data.
- Restorative resources to bounce back fast: Free LifeLock services to help those affected by identify theft get back on track.
To maximize our reach, we are also building relationships with organizations that support and serve foster youth such as local partners The Bill Wilson Center, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK), and Promises2Kids, as well as a broader network of community groups and organizations including the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and TechSoup.
In addition to providing resources and services to young victims through the program’s three nonprofit partners, Symantec employees will mentor youth, provide program training and act as advocates on behalf of the program, working with public officials to build stronger policies that protect foster children.
Today, we are honored to be invited to our nation’s capital to launch this program with members of Congress, including the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and nonprofits – the Identity Theft Resource Center and iFoster. We are proud to stand alongside politicians, nonprofit partners, advocates and peers to celebrate the beginning of a program that will provide a much deserved and needed resource to an important population.
I hope many of you are inspired by our efforts with FAST. Here are some simple things you can do to help participate in FAST:
- Learn more by visiting go.symantec.com/fast
- Help us increase awareness on our FAST efforts by following Symantec on social media
- Read our Corporate Responsibility blog and share our updates and photos from the launch with friends, colleagues and business partners
For many foster youth, stability and consistency is often lacking in their lives. Symantec is uniquely equipped to help these kids—we’re a world-leading cyber security organization with an important mission to protect our customers’ digital security and safety needs.
We have a chance – and a responsibility – to do our part to protect this vulnerable population with security software, educational training, and restoration services to help these young people repair, rebuild and reduce the risk of future issues occurring. We are looking to FAST to help us stay true to our mission – to make the digital world a better, safer place for everyone.
We encourage you to share your thoughts on your favorite social platform.