White House Cyber Security Chief Applauds Free Cyber Safety Program For Schoolchildren

The (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online Program brings experts into schools to teach children ages 11-14 how to protect themselves in a cyber-connected world

September 24, 2010

3 Min Read


Palm Harbor, Fla., U.S.A., Sept. 23, 2010 – (ISC)2' ("ISC-squared"), the not-for-profit global leader in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers with over 70,000 certified members worldwide, today announced that its Safe and Secure Online (SSO) program, taught by volunteer (ISC)2-certified information security professionals at no cost to schools, recently reache d a milestone of educating more than 33,000 children worldwide.

With demand for cyber security and safety education in schools on the rise, the (ISC)2 Safe and Secure Online program is bridging a gap in children’s security and safety outreach efforts. Momentum for the program is building, with a 30 percent increase in children receiving instruction since last September. More than 1,500 (ISC)2-certified volunteers have signed up to present the program to schools in the U.S., U.K. and Hong Kong.

"I applaud all of the volunteers who participate in programs like Safe and Secure Online and encourage all information security professionals and associations to get involved in helping kids be cyber safe," said Howard Schmidt, White House cybersecurity coordinator. "Programs like these fall right in line with the goals of National Cyber Safety Awareness Month (NCSAM) this October."

Initiated in 2006 with support from Childnet International, a UK-based charity, (ISC)2 created the Safe and Secure Online program to bring top cyber security experts into schools to teach children ages 11-14 how to protect themselves in an increasingly cyber-connec ted world. The program tackles the most relevant issues such as cyber bullying, social networking, online predators, 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 or youth association at no cost.

"As a not-for-profit organization and the largest body of information security professionals worldwide, it is our duty to give back and offer awareness tools to vulnerable groups," said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)2. "With online safety and security education for kids becoming essential, our members – the pre-eminent information security experts in the world – are volunteering their time to provide children an engaging, valuable and memorable learning experience."

Man y parents and youth organization leaders are aware of Internet dangers such as cyberbullying, online sexual predators and viruses; and they understand that children need to be informed on how to protect themselves from such dangers. The Safe and Secure Online presentation provides real-world information and simple tips to avoid these threats that children can relate to.

Ron Hagy, assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, said that after attending the Safe and Secure Online presentation with his Boy Scout Troop, "Clearly everyone learned something very useful that they could take away and apply. It is easy to drop your guard when you think someone is a friend. What a great eye opener to see that on the Internet, not all is as it seems."

Brad Mathis, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and dedicated Safe and Secure Online educator, said, "I am very passionate about delivering the Safe and Secure Online program. As a father, I have a natural instinct to want to protect all kids. If this program helps save the life of just one child, it’s more the worth the investment of time."

If you are a parent, educator or organization that would like the Safe and Secure Online presentation delivered at your local school, or would like more information about the program, please visit https://cyberexchange.isc2.org/safe-secure.aspx or follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

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