Cyber Crime Fighters and Students Join Forces to Improve Internet Safety at Summit on Feb. 24 in Charleston

February 04, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –The West Virginia Department of Education and Verizon are taking a “byte” out of Internet crime. The upcoming West Virginia Cyber Safety Summit will bring the best practices of cyber safety to Charleston on Feb. 24 at the Clay Center for the Arts and Science. 

“The Internet exposes our children to a vast new world,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Teaching our children how to use that resource safely and protect themselves while online, playing games or surfing the Web is an important step in educating children in the 21st century.”

Featured guests include two nationally recognized experts, a West Virginia cyber crime fighter and two teams of high school students.
  • Teri Schroeder, CEO of iSafe, is one of two speakers whose national organizations protect others online. iSafe is the leading provider of Internet safety education for schools, and stresses a community approach by parents, law enforcement and community leaders in teaching students to avoid dangerous, inappropriate, or unlawful online behavior. “Parents can't talk to their children about the Internet because they don't understand it as well as their kids do. Internet safety is talked about a lot more       between students,” Schroeder said.  
  • Cindy Southworth, technology director at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said abusers are seeking to find or control their spouses using a range of technology, ranging from global positioning systems or GPS to spyware to breaking into e-mail accounts. "Everybody is using technology now, in every domestic violence case,” Southworth said.
  • Sgt. Christopher Casto, head of the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, is a key player in the increased prosecution of child pornography statewide. He heads one of two forensic units for cyber crimes in the state and developed a web presence to report crimes anonymously.
Student teams from Huntington High School in Cabell County, as well as Hedgesville and Martinsburg high schools in Berkeley County, will share the teen perspective on cyber safety, and present how they are communicating with their peers. The students are writing the first online guide on Wikipedia on cyber safety for West Virginia, including creative, online concepts for communicating safety online with their peers.
Gov. Joe Manchin, Attorney General Darrell McGraw and Superintendent Paine will participate as well.
Verizon is West Virginia’s leading broadband provider. President B. Keith Fulton said cyber safety goes along with more access to high speed Internet resources.
“Today’s students do not remember life before the Internet. They’ve always accessed a world of information with the click of a mouse,” Fulton said. “But some areas in cyberspace are inappropriate for them. All of us, really, must be aware of how to avoid these risks.”
Go to for safe, online registration for the West Virginia Cyber Safe Summit. There is no charge to attend, but seating is limited. In addition to the speakers, those attending will be able to participate in a town hall discussion, or focus on specific areas of interest at roundtables led by speakers, and other subject matter experts from government and private industry. An interactive, electronic quiz and voting by participants will be provided by eInstruction Corp.
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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