On May 3, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) hosted “Get Schooled, Kids and Cyber Security,” an event to raise awareness about cyber security and children. Four internet safety experts spoke about important risks, mitigation strategies, and safety tips to help keep kids safe online.
DS Director of the Office of Computer Security, Mary Sue Holland, served as the master of ceremonies. This important event was all about the safety of our children.
Recent studies show that kids ages 2-5 can browse the internet, play video games, and use smart phones before they learn to tie their shoes, swim, or ride a bike. At the stroke of one computer key, a child can be exposed to cyber bullying, sexual predators, harassment, phishing, identity theft, viruses, and malware, to name a few. This list of growing threats is the reason the Bureau of Diplomatic Security thought it essential to share the latest research, strategies and tips with parents, so that parents can help protect their families online.
Speakers included Enough is Enough President and CEO Donna Rice Hughes; National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Instructor Dr. Sharon Cooper; Internet Solutions for Kids President and Research Director Dr. Michele Ybarra; and Pew Internet and American Life Project Senior Research Specialist Amanda Lenhart.
The event was part of a larger effort by the federal government to raise awareness about cyber security.
DS’s Office of Cyber Security helps protect nearly 92,000 State Department computers worldwide each year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Last year, the Department received more than 2 million external emails a day, 83% of which were spam. And in 2010, the Department blocked nearly 500,000 viruses.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State’s law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals are responsible for the security of 285 U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel investigate passport and visa fraud, conduct personnel security investigations, and protect the Secretary of State and other high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States. More information about the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security may be obtained at www.state.gov/m/ds