TELUS helps Canadian families avoid online exploitation

TELUS WISE -- a free program helping Canadians, young and old, develop safer online habits

VANCOUVER, Oct. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - TELUS is launching TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education), a unique program available to Canadians for free, offering seminars and online resources that will help keep all members of Canadian families safer online. Whether it's protecting children from cyberbullying and sexual exploitation or keeping elderly safe from financial fraud and identity theft, developing more online-savvy is critical to a family's overall safety when using the Internet on computers, tablets and smartphones alike.

"The online safety and security of Canadian families is vitally important to the TELUS team, and we are thrilled to be able to provide peace of mind to parents and their children through TELUS WISE," said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. "This innovative educational program will arm Canadians with the tools necessary to help keep their families safe from online criminal activity such as financial fraud and child predators. TELUS WISE advances our unparalleled commitment to give where we live and put our customers first by helping to protect what is most valuable to them - their loved ones."

The program has two parts - one aimed at adults interested in keeping themselves and their families safe; the second tailored to appeal directly to youth. TELUS is scheduling free, public TELUS WISE seminars led by specially-trained TELUS team members at convenient locations across the country and is also inviting groups to book their own seminars - a workplace, community centre, school, parenting group or senior's centre, for example. Individuals can also book a one-on-one session with trained team members at more than 200 TELUS stores. TELUS WISE educational material will also be available on a secure TELUS WISE portal, available to anyone who wants to educate themselves on the safe use of smartphones, tablets and computers.

The first of its kind in Canada, the TELUS WISE program not only assists parents in the education of their children of any age, but can also help start a dialogue with aging parents about identity theft and how to stay protected against scam artists and other exploiters.

Further details include:

  • TELUS WISE program -- for parents and adults:
    • In-person seminars that TELUS will hold for the public and can be booked by any business or community group across the country. Participants will learn about the common pitfalls of cyberspace and how to better protect personal information from predators and malware;
    • Vast library of online educational resources for parents about what choices children might be making online, how to protect them, and signs to watch for that children might be in trouble; and
    • Personalized, one-on-one TELUS WISE sessions on Internet and smartphone safety and security available by appointment at more than 200 TELUS in-store Learning Centres across the country.
  • TELUS WISE footprint -- for children ages eight to 18.
    • Secure, online portal offering fun, interactive challenges where children can learn how to stay safe online;
    • Relatable comic-strip scenarios that identify common mistakes innocent children often make online around key topics like cyberbullying and predators;
    • Unique avatars for engaged learning; and
    • School-age children can earn money for their school's cyberbullying and digital citizenship programs by completing interactive challenges.

TELUS WISE and TELUS WISE footprint content has been developed in partnership with accredited organizations like MediaSmarts and Bullying.org to address the critical need for timely, informative and relevant information given the steady growth of smartphone adoption and Internet use, particularly with children and teens.

"Our belief is that children and youth need critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens," said Jane Tallim, co-executive director, MediaSmarts.ca. "With the proliferation of the Internet and smartphones, it is critical that socially conscious companies like TELUS offer impactful new programs to keep our children safer online and we're pleased to be a partner in the roll out of TELUS WISE to millions of families across the country in an effort to educate them about smarter online choices."

TELUS WISE and WISE footprint programs have also been recognized and awarded the PTPA Winner's Seal of Approval.

For further information, please visit: www.telus.com/wise and www.telus.com/wisefootprint or follow our conversation on Twitter @TELUS using the hashtag #TELUSWISE

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $11.2 billion of annual revenue and 13.2 million customer connections, including 7.7 million wireless subscribers, 3.3 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million Internet subscribers and 743,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $300 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

SOURCE TELUS Corporation

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For media inquiries, please contact:

British Columbia:

Liz Sauvé
TELUS Media Relations
604-719-6715
liz.sauve@telus.com

Alberta:

Chris Gerritsen
TELUS Media Relations
403-530-4919
chris.gerritsen@telus.com

Ontario:

Jill Yetman
TELUS Media Relations
416-992-2639
jill.yetman@telus.com