Dec 23, 2009

Virginia Announces Support For Cyber Experts Program To teach Online Security to Schoolchildren

(ISC)²®(“ISC-squared”), the not-for-profit global leader in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers with more than 66,000 members worldwide, today 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.

For schools to request a Safe and Secure Online presentation, education officials can e-mail (ISC)2 will in turn notify its volunteers of the request and try to match an expert in their region. To date, there are more than 600 volunteers in the U.S. program since it was announced last month. Virginia is the first state to express its support for the initiative.

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