Microsoft Online Family Safety Workshop in Pakistan

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As a part of its social services commitment Microsoft Pakistan held an awareness workshop on Online Family Safety. The basis agenda of this workshop was to put an effort to keep children safe while they are online. To make this possible this workshop was targeted towards Teachers and Parents as they being the responsible for guiding children and ensuring their safety.

Various speakers from Industry addressed the Parents & Teachers during this half day long workshop where the main idea was to Act smart, Keep yourself updated with latest threats & their precautions, Understand the significance of online safety especially incase of children. Many ideas and viewpoints were shared by speakers and participants such as keeping the computer in living area or lounge so as everyone can see what the child is doing rather than leaving the machine with him/her in a bedroom or using the wired internet connection rather than Wi-Fi and much more.

All of the above resolutions makes sense and seem pretty appropriate however it really becomes difficult to stop consumer’s access to the technology or to change the way they are interacting with devices and again if you do so, workaround for such measures is quite easy and usually comes pretty quickly to the young minds (minds of digital natives) as compared to us.

However I came across a couple of Presentations from Microsoft in which they talked about their tools such as Windows 7 Parental Controls, Windows Live Online Family Safety 2011 & great security features part of latest browser IE9 – Beta. So this seems to be a one time effort by which you configured the child’s PC let’s say he/she can only log-in to the machine from 6 pm – 9 pm and only on Fri, Sat and Sun. May be he/she is only allowed to play these games online or to access these particular websites. At the end of the day you can easily see web based reports of your child’s activity. So no wonder you are travelling or busy in a meeting Microsoft Family Safety tools and Parental Controls are taking care of your child and loved ones.

The beauty of an automated solution is that it just take one time effort to be configured and later it is always there (24*7*365) and never makes Human Errors..!

An everlasting footprint by Microsoft in Pakistan

Through out the books and school we learn that every successful corporation has a responsibility to use its resources and influence to make a positive impact on the world. Today this definition is branded as a CSR initiative of businesses working across the globe.

The region’s worst flooding in 80 years has affected around 18 million people in Pakistan and according to UN the number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan could exceed the combined total in three recent mega disasters – the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake (source Dawn).

child people

Rightly sensing the responsibility Microsoft was on the ground since the initial days of  this disaster and through its momentous flood relief activities it has left an everlasting footprint on the land of Pakistan.

The strategy laid by Microsoft to confront this disaster is three-fold i.e. Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. Microsoft employees from Pakistan and other countries including Saudi Arabia, US, UAE, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, Netherland and others part of the MEA region participated in a tremendous way to accumulate a sum of 600,000 USD as a result of immediate humanitarian response to this flood.

Microsoft Pakistan team under the leadership of Kamal Ahmed, Country General Manager including Shoaib Khalil, Marketing Lead; Usman Khan, Citizenship Manager and others has been on the ground since last one month addressing this disaster by providing aid in-person and channelizing it through various leading bodies. It’s not only the direct cash, Microsoft has also made its platform available (Bing, MSN) to let the relief aid message float across millions, free of cost. 

In this current phase Microsoft has also planned software donations and trainings to the NGOs engaged in the relief and rehabilitation tasks to better manage and perform their activities which has been estimated up to 1.5 million USD. The relief activities are currently going on and looking at the momentum one can easily see that these figures will certainly go into millions of dollars.

team distribution

Now the next part of the strategy is Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, where Microsoft is up to the following:

  • Microsoft Platforms will be used to present the Pakistan Disaster report to the World at the October Global Donor Conference.
    It has been agreed that Microsoft will work with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank who are mandated to assess damages caused by the flood.  The study will cover 16 sectors of the economy across the 4 provinces and 2 autonomous regions which have been affected.
  • Microsoft will support landing the “Eagle”, a Disaster Management Response system in Punjab Province.
    A state of the art Emergency Response System developed by Microsoft Gold Partner which will certainly help the donors in effective disaster response management.
  • Microsoft MEA will use the data provided by government and donor enumerators and place it on a rich Share-point platform with GIS capabilities to effectively present report findings.

Microsoft team and Management is thoroughly engaged in Pakistan with the Government at Provincial and Federal level and is sync up with the leading NGOs and Financial bodies playing critical role in this flood relief effort saving the fellow countrymen. Microsoft objective is to help this eco system to address the monetary and technological challenges coming across and play its vital role in order to built a better Pakistan as a part of its CSR commitment. Hence leaving a model to be followed….