This week the 12th Annual Wired Safety Summit convened and brought together members including teens, tweens, lawmakers, parents, and companies who are dedicated to promoting online safety.
Originally started in 1995 as an organization that rated websites, WiredSafety.org transformed into becoming a group that promotes education to cyberspace users of all ages on a myriad of Internet and interactive technology safety, privacy and security issues. It also includes protecting children and women from Internet-related sexual exploitation.
Volunteer members are dedicated to protecting people of all ages in cyberspace from cybercrimes and abuse, such as cyberbullying, cyberharassment, hacking, sexual harassment and identity (ID) theft. WiredSafety uses a world-wide network of volunteers including TV personalities, teachers, law enforcement officers, PhDs, writers, executives, librarians, stay-at-home moms, retirees, and students ages 7-96 to spread their message.
One of the most inspiring parts of the day was hearing the TeenAngels and TweenAngels speak. Many of these students have been touched by online safety issues, such as cyberbullying, and now and work to educate and empower their peers. Their goal is to provide classmates with the tools think through and get help when in situations that jeopardize their safety.
It was inspiring to hear teens and tweens speak about their educational outreach efforts as they are the stars of the day. At any Wired Summit, there’s only one time when the adults get to speak about their involvement with WiredSafety through governmental organizations like the Department of Education and companies like AOL, Build a Bear, Nickelodeon, WebKinz, Kidzui, Microsoft, Nuance, and more as they are lauded for their efforts in working with WiredSafety to promote their mission.
During the adult panel, Teen and Tween Angels get to post questions to the representatives from the various companies regarding issues in online safety. One of the most applicable questions relating to what we do at ChicaLogic was posed to Michael Kaiser from StaySafeOnline.org, a site run by the National Cyber Security Alliance.
“How does antivirus affecting cyberbullying?” one Angel asked.
Kaiser responded saying, “We look at tools (antivirus, anti-malware, identity protection) as being critical in protecting you. If your computer is more safe and secure, then you are more safe and secure online.” But despite being on safe and secure technology that runs anti-virus protection, he also noted the need to “use the right behavior and act correctly online.”
Kasier encouraged the Teen and Tween Angels in attendance to continue their involvement in making the internet safe by pursuing careers in cybersecurity.
“We need young people to go into things like cybersecurity and take a role in making the internet secure. If we don’t have a safe internet, all the other things don’t matter. Think about careers in the technology of the internet— how it works and how to impact people in the future. We’re counting on you.”