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#ISC2Congress Makes Cyber Matter with Garfield

In advance of Cyber Safety Day – New Orleans, the Center for Cyber Safety and Education talked with cybersecurity practitioners at the 2018 Security Congress about how to talk to children about staying safe online.

Showcasing its curriculum that can be used by volunteers anywhere, the center encouraged audience members to get involved by either adopting a school or supporting scholarships. Patrick Craven, director of the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, and Ciera Lovitt, educational program specialist, were joined by Garfield, the star of the center’s educational outreach program for elementary schools. 

Given that 90% of security incidents are the result of human error, the center’s goal is to educate people of all ages about good cyber-hygiene practices. For young kids, that includes topics ranging from cyber-bullying to passwords and computer security.

The center’s Children’s Internet Usage Study found that 40% of kids in grades 4-8 chatted with a stranger online. “Of those, 53% revealed their phone number to a stranger and 11% met with a stranger. It is crucial that our children learn how to be safe online and avoid being the target of cyber-criminals,” according to a press release.

In an effort to bring the content to more elementary school kids, the center is celebrating Cyber Safety Day – New Orleans, a one-day event created by the nonprofit to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

Participating schools will receive Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures – Lesson 1: “Privacy, Online Friends Are Not the Same as Real Friends,” which will be delivered on Wednesday, October 10, as part of Cyber Safety Day. 

Over 2,300 students in New Orleans in 17 elementary schools city-wide will engage in the lesson using the cyber-safety education materials for free. As part of the event, former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister will also be visiting the classrooms with Garfield after the cyber-safety lesson.
 
Craven emphasized that educating a single child costs the nonprofit organization $2.17, and attendees were invited to donate to the rapidly growing cause. Craven noted that last year the center had 66 scholarship applications. This year, it had thousands. 

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