The overall winner and ‘highly commended’ nominees have today – Thursday, 17 December – been revealed in Get Safe Online’s inaugural ‘Cyber Heroes’ awards, that have been running for the last three weeks in 12 Caribbean countries.
Despite tough competition, the overall winner is announced as Jervis Dabreo of Grenada whilst Highly Commended awards were given to Zamar Thomas of Dominica, John Avery of Belize and Daren Dhoray of Trinidad & Tobago to recognise their instrumental efforts towards keeping their citizens safe online.
Toward the end of November, Get Safe Online launched the awards by asking people in the countries in which they have Get Safe Online websites to nominate someone who had ‘gone the extra mile’ to increase awareness of online safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, comments, “Having publicised the awards on our country websites and Caribbean Facebook page, we were delighted at the response, with 20 nominations coming from seven countries. The field was very strong and some individuals received a number of nominations. Thank you to all of you who made a contribution – in our eyes, all the entrants were, in fact, Cyber Heroes.”
The judging panel, which convened on Friday, 11 December, comprised Get Safe Online’s Jenny Thornton (Head of International Relations) and Sarah Sawrey-Cookson (Communications Director) alongside John Hering (Senior Government Affairs Manager, Digital Diplomacy at Microsoft). The panel identified one overall Cyber Hero winner and 3 nominees to be highly commended.
John Hering Senior Government Affairs Manager, Digital Diplomacy at Microsoft added, “The work of these individuals is nothing short of remarkable. As people everywhere have been navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, they have helped to ensure that connecting to the online world – for work, for learning, and for staying close to family – can be safer and more secure. They are owed a debt of gratitude for going above and beyond in their efforts and have certainly earned this recognition as “Cyber Heroes.”
The overall winner and the Get Safe Online Cyber Hero for 2020, Jervis Dabreo of Grenada, commented, “From being nominated as a Cyber Hero of 2020, and now winning; this is not why I do what I do, but it is exhilarating to be recognised for it. Thank you Get Safe Online. The mission of empowering this and future generations of netizens to be safe online continues.”
Wendy Freeman, Resident British Commissioner to Grenada said, “I am delighted that Grenada’s Jervis Dabreo has won the Get Safe Online’s inaugural ‘Cyber Heroes’ award. At a time when the world is relying more than ever on virtual connections, it is great to be reassured that these connections remain safe for all. This is certainly heroic work that deserves recognition.”
Since March, people and businesses around the world have turned to the internet in an unprecedented way, with technology replacing national and international travel, meetings, seminars and training, social events and much more. Everything from quiz nights to exhibitions and medical consultations to family chats have all gone virtual. This uptake in internet use, together with the fact that people around the world are worried about the physical and mental health, economic and financial outcomes of Covid, have created a perfect environment in which online criminals can operate.
For further details on the entrants and nominations visit www.getsafeonline.gd. For useful help, tips and insights on how to stay safe online follow us on Facebook @GetSafeOnlineCaribbean.
British High Commission, Grenada