National Cyber Security Alliance, McAfee and CyberSmart! Education Team Up to Bring Cybersecurity Learning Resources to K-12 Classrooms
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) – a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity awareness and education for all digital citizens – in partnership with McAfee and CyberSmart! Education, today released several resources for K-12 schools nationwide to teach students about the importance of security and online safety. These free, easy to use cybersecurity resources include posters, activities, and checklists to help students maintain good cybersecurity practices are being released as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month activities in October.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month, conducted every October since 2004, is an annual awareness-raising effort that seeks to encourage everyone to protect their networks and our nation’s critical cyber infrastructure. NCSA works in collaboration with partners across the country to empower consumers, schools, businesses and government agencies to stay safe online.
The resources are being released in conjunction with an event today sponsored by NCSA and the Churchill Club of Silicon Valley discussing the future of cyber education in America. The event includes both industry and government officials on the campus of Google in Mountain View, California. Specifically, the gathering focuses on increasing the understanding of the need for a comprehensive approach to cyber security education, including the inclusion in STEM and Computer Science, to produce a cyber-capable citizenry and the next generation cyber security workforce. Participants included: Nicole Dean, Director National Cyber Security Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Andrew Lee, CEO, ESET; Parisa Tabriz, Information Security Engineer, Google; Michael Kaiser, Executive Director, NCSA; Roy Burgess, Department of Homeland Security; Muhammed Chaudhry, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Education Foundation; and Clark Ritchie, CTO, TechNet.
Based on the tips and advice of the national STOP.THINK.CONNECT (http://stopthinkconnect.org/) public cyber education campaign, the classroom activities provide a simple checklist of activities that students can employ to protect their identities and computer, while immersing children in creative and critical thinking to explore the concepts behind each tip. The accompanying posters include positive, action-oriented steps that students can take to protect themselves online.
“A recent study conducted by NCSA on the state of education in online safety, security, and ethics in K-12 schools found that only 24 percent of teacher’s feel well prepared to teach issues related to cybersecurity, with many citing a lack of teaching resources,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “We hope that these resources further empower teachers and students with the information they need to keep themselves and their information safe and secure online not only this October but every day of the year..” (http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-classroom/ncsa%E2%80%99s-national-k-12-studies)
“Our K-12 students are more oriented with the digital atmosphere than ever before,” said Pamela Warren, cybercrime strategist and director of global public sector and critical infrastructure initiatives for McAfee. “It’s important to start arming them with smart resources to protect themselves online from the beginning of the formal education process and to continue reinforcing those messages throughout their K-12 experience. We’re proud to collaborate with NCSA and CyberSmart! Education to prepare students for security and online safety both in and beyond the classroom setting.”
The activities were designed under the leadership of CyberSmart! Education, creators of the popular CyberSmart! Student Curriculum and CyberSmart! Online Workshops for educators. “We’re excited to offer all teachers a simple way to easily introduce or reinforce good online security practices within the context of any subject area,” said James Teicher, co-founder of CyberSmart! Education. “The posters use a technique proven worldwide to be the most effective reminder strategy – the checklist. And, each accompanying mini-activity was developed keeping in mind that to encourage behavioral change, students must define and ‘own’ the issues for themselves. The end result is a resource toolkit that will help students understand their role in facilitating and promoting a safe digital atmosphere.”
These resources target two different K-12 audiences – Elementary/Middle School and Middle/High School. The classroom activities and accompanying posters can be found at http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-classroom/lessons-and-teaching-materials. Additional classroom materials on cybersecuity are also available at http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-classroom.
In addition to the classroom materials, NCSA encourages all audiences – teachers, employers, families, consumers, and more – to routinely visit the National Cyber Security Awareness Month Web portal for an abundance of information about how to get involved, events, and additional resources to help organizations and individuals participate in the public awareness and education campaign. The Web portal is available at: www.staysafeonline.org.
About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a nonprofit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, nonprofit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves, the networks they use, and the cyber infrastructure. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information.
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.(TM) is the first-ever coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The message was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) led the effort to find a unified online safety message that could be adopted across public and private sectors. The campaign hopes to achieve for online safety awareness what “Smokey Bear” did for forest fire safety and “Click It or Ticket” did for seatbelt safety, more information can be found at www.stopthinkconnect.org.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com
About CyberSmart! Education
CyberSmart! fosters 21st century skills to increase student engagement and prepare students to achieve in today’s digital society. Since its launch nine years ago, the CyberSmart Student Curriculum– the very first standards-based safety and security curriculum — has been used by millions of students around the world. CyberSmart online professional development provides educators with a hands-on experience in 21st century skills to meet the learning need of today’s students. And now, CyberSmart Africa reaches out to the poorest schools on earth, with the world’s first adapted interactive whiteboard operating with inexpensive solar power. www.cybersmart.org www.cybersmartafrica.org
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its eighth year is a coordinated effort of the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC).
SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance