Online security program introduced to US high schools

(ISC)2 has launched a volunteer program where cyber safety will be taught in classrooms across the US.

The Safe and Secure Online program will see leading cyber security professionals from business and government organisations using an interactive presentation designed for children aged 11-14, with social networking, cyberbullying, viral emails, spam and identity theft covered.

The organisation claimed that Safe and Secure Online will engage certified experts to speak directly to children rather than to teachers, school administrators or parents.  To participate in the Safe and Secure Online program, volunteers must be (ISC)2-certified members in good standing, which includes adherence to (ISC)2's strict Code of Ethics.

W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)2, said: “As the largest body of information security professionals in the world, (ISC)2's mission is to go beyond certifying security professionals and introduce responsible computing to computer users at an early age.

“We want to start with those at highest risk – children, many of whom have a firm grasp of how technology works but lack the savvy to know when they're putting themselves in jeopardy or someone is trying to take advantage of them. Safe and Secure Online seeks to empower kids to safely navigate the internet and mobile devices.”

Microsoft, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) have expressed their support for Safe and Secure Online, with Microsoft sending several of its (ISC)2-certified security professionals through the process to become volunteers.

Bob Herold, head teacher at Northstar Junior High in Kirkland, Washington, said: “Teachers often lack the comfort level to present this information to their students.  The Safe and Secure Online program is a great option, as students learn from information security experts who share their knowledge through a youth-friendly, cutting-edge presentation.

“The program was such a hit with our students during the previous school year that we will be bringing it back to the incoming class of seventh graders this year.”

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