Saturday , July 20 2024

Joe Camel is Gone, But the Software Ferret Is Here

The Business Software Alliance has a new site, Play It Cyber Safe, and a new mascot, a grinning ferret, in its campaign

    to teach kids as young as 8 years old “safe and responsible” computing practices, like avoiding the rampant software piracy that member companies like Microsoft and Adobe blame for eroding their profits.

    “It’s never too early to start teaching kids about good behavior, the right thing to do is to reach out to them while they’re very young,” said BSA spokeswoman Diane Smiroldo, noting that some children get their first taste of Web surfing in preschool.

    The software industry loses roughly $11 billion a year to piracy, the BSA estimates.

    ….The site includes games featuring the cartoon ferret that seek to teach kids about software licenses, computers and pirated CD-ROMs. It also features a list of the usual safety tips for children online, including not engaging in online chats with strangers who could be sexual predators.

    The site contains links to sample curricula for teachers to educate kids in grades 3-8 about software piracy and legal computing practices.

    ….The BSA’s as yet unnamed ferret is not the first animal enlisted to teach safe computing practices. Last September, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unveiled “Dewie” the Internet security turtle, a cartoon character that teaches Internet safety tips to adults and children. [Washington Post]

More on software piracy and protection here.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

Check Also


SXSW 2023: Connecting Your Brain to Computers

Brain Computer Interface technology will allow you to control the world with just your thoughts and bluetooth.