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News

ISC2 experts train children in online security

ISC Squared : 20 November, 2009  (Application Story)
Virginia State in North America to begin educational sessions for school children in on line security
(ISC)2, the not-for-profit organisation in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers with more than 66,000 members worldwide, has announced that the Virginia Department of Education and the state office of the Attorney General are supporting the (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online program, a free nationwide initiative to bring certified cyber security experts into classrooms to teach schoolchildren about protecting themselves online.

Upon request and availability, (ISC)2 certified member volunteers will visit schools to deliver the interactive Safe and Secure Online presentation designed for children ages 11-14, teaching them how to protect themselves in an increasingly cyber-connected world by tackling such concerns as social networking, cyberbullying, viral emails, spam, identity theft and more. Using compelling materials developed by former school teachers and presented by certified information security professionals, the program is offered to any school in the country at no cost.

"Virginia has made great strides in bringing cyber safety education to children, but we realize there is still much work to be done," said Gene Fishel, chief of the Computer Crime Section, Virginia Attorney General's Office. "The (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online program is unique in that it goes beyond curriculum and brings top security experts from business and government into schools to talk directly to kids about responsible computing and personal safety."

"We encourage all middle schools in Virginia, as well as other states throughout the country, to request that an (ISC)2 volunteer come to their school to share this valuable information," Lan Neugent, assistant superintendent for Technology and Career Education for the Virginia Department of Education, added.

"In many cases, the young adults are the most technically savvy user in the family, which is why it's important to educate the kids themselves," said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)2. "Our goal is for the information communicated in the (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online presentation to serve as a jumping-off point for kids to start a dialogue with their parents about their online behaviors and what to do if a situation arises."

The (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online program officially kicked off in Virginia last month at Swanson Middle School in Arlington, where (ISC)2 security expert Dan VanBelleghem, CISSP, of NCI Information Systems, Inc. delivered a one-hour cyber security presentation and led a discussion with 15 middle school children. Officials from the state Attorney General's Office and the Virginia Department of Education were also in attendance.

"We were very happy with the presentation by the cyber security expert, especially after seeing how the students were so engaged in the discussion," said Chrystal Forrester, principal of Swanson Middle School. "The safety of our children is our first concern, and teaching them how to protect themselves online is an integral part of those efforts."
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