EMU To Teach Teens Cybersecurity

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The Eastern Michigan University student center.

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Twenty years ago, online security and cyber bullying were virtually unknown. Today, these issues are becoming major problems, especially for middle and high school students.

Nearly 400 southeastern Michigan high school students will learn about the digital world’s cyber security issues, the law, bullying and other concerns during a special program, “Cyber Security in the 21st Century,” April 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center ballroom. The conference is free and open to high school students and parents.

“Students today may be technically savvy, but they have no concept that everything they do online can’t be removed. It’s called the digital tattoo,” said Gerald “Skip” Lawver, director of the Center of Academic Excellence Information Assurance at EMU. “The earlier the students are aware of these issues, the sooner they can learn to develop countermeasures online to protect themselves.”

The morning begins with welcoming remarks by U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn); EMU Provost Jack Kay; Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton; and Kristin Judge, Washtenaw County Commissioner and chair of the Washtenaw County Cyber Citizenship Coalition (WC4).

Keynote speaker Roberta Stempfley, deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Cyber Security and Communications, will address “Cyber Security in the 21st Century: Stop, Think, Connect,” 11-11:25 a.m.  “Stop, Think, Connect” is a national public awareness effort by the Department of Homeland Security to improve Internet safety.

Other speakers and activities include:

* Your Digital Tattoo – Linda Urenholt, AT&T, will discuss how online content remains online forever and can’t be deleted. 9:10-9:30 a.m.
* On Being Bullied – The Skyline High School (Ann Arbor) Student Panel will discuss its student survey findings about cyber bullying, 9:35-9:50 a.m.
* Hands-on Workshop for Parents – Parents will learn how to secure their computers against unwarranted websites, and learn how to monitor, evaluate and secure their own systems, 9:50-11:30 a.m.
* Cyber Bullying – Robin Batten and Julie Perea, Washtenaw Area Council for Children, will discuss cyber bullying and what to look for. 10:10-10:35 a.m.
* Cyber Law and You – Patrick Corbett, Cooley Law Center, will offer examples of how minors may violate the law based on what they post online. Topics include child sexually abusive material, stalking and harassment, and identity theft. 10:35-11 a.m.
*Build a Computer challenge, where students take actual computer components and learn to build a computer.
* Cyber Defense: Attack and Defend Exercises for students

“Partnerships are the best way for us to address the issue of cyber education, and without EMU and AT&T’s sponsorship, the event would not be possible,” said Kristin Judge, chair of WC4.  “This event is a great example of what public/private partnerships can accomplish, and the Coalition is proud to be a part of the event.”

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