Safe and Secure Online is a volunteer program for (ISC)² certified information security professionals. Volunteers visit school classrooms or community organizations as guest speakers, teaching kids ages 7-14 how to be safe and responsible online, while hopefully fostering an interest among the students in cyber careers. In addition to strengthening their local communities, Safe and Secure Online volunteers earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits in exchange for their time.
The Foundation believes that:
Information security professionals have an opportunity to leverage their expertise to help children stay safe online by educating them, their parents, and teachers about online dangers. Safe and Secure Online volunteers help address the gap in cyber safety education and outreach, introduce new career possibilities, and strengthen their communities by sharing their professional knowledge.
Volunteers use Safe and Secure Online teaching tools (developed by former school teachers) to educate students about how to protect themselves, their equipment, and their identities from online dangers. Topics evolve depending on needs and the age group of the classroom, but could include identity theft, anti-virus software, cyber-bullying, mobile security, safe social networking and safe computing practices.
Volunteers use teaching materials that are downloaded from a Safe and Secure website, where there is a chat area where volunteers can get questions answered and share ideas.
Protection from identity theft is a major goal of this teaching process. Much of child identity theft occurs when the children themselves expose too much of their own personal by indulging in the kinds of unsafe online practices that Safe and Secure teaches to recognize and to avoid.
If you are an IT professional and want to consider volunteering you can visit the Foundation's volunteer website and follow the sign-up check list that requires all volunteers to sign a waiver form, complete a criminal background check and view a one hour long online presentation and complete a quiz.
If you are not an IT professional you can still be involved in this process. First, parents, teachers, schools, and community organizations-can request a presentation by a local cyber professional by filling out a brief form on the SSO website. Then too, the Foundation "encourages you to share resources within your personal and professional networks to help raise awareness about the program and strengthen its impact in communities nationwide." Anyone can download educational resources, safety tips, and awareness materials from the Foundation to share within their personal networks.
Child identity theft is such a growing problem that we all must be involved in protection from identity theft. The Safe & Secure Foundation (ISC)2 provides and interesting method that might appeal to kids whose technical abilities have outdistanced that of you, their parents. Their methods appear to be working and are certainly worth a look.