LOS ANGELES – The United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and a coalition of law enforcement agencies and community groups will host the 8th Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium tomorrow. The day-long seminar for more than 400 educators, parents, and middle and high school students is being held at the California Endowment in Los Angeles.
The Symposium will address a wide range of Internet-related security and safety issues with speakers conducting discussions on topics that include child exploitation, cyber bullying, the implications of digital communication on health, digital reputation, navigating peer pressure, social media, cyber abuse, Internet dangers and sextortion, among other topics. This year features a youth presentation on Snapchat and special celebrity guests from Disney television programs will make a special surprise appearance during the lunch break.
“Internet and social media use has become a fundamental element of our daily lives. Whether it is for educational or recreational use, it is essential that everyone – especially young people – have skills to stay safe in cyberspace,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This Symposium will assist the most vulnerable among us, and those who care for them, in designing and implementing strategies that will help protect them from online dangers.”
“Education is key to empowering children to take control of their cyber citizenship and do their part to protect themselves and their peers from those who would do them harm via the internet,” said Deirdre L. Fike, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “This Symposium affords the FBI and our law enforcement partners direct access to students, parents, and educators to discuss the dangers of sextortionists, cyberbullies, and fraudsters our children face online. We are all partners in the fight to keep kids safe in cyberspace.”
Student teams from each of the schools attending this year’s Symposium will also be invited to participate in the 6th Annual Cyber Safety Challenge. This contest asks attending students to develop a cyber safety program at their respective schools in order to educate the entire student body on the various risks associated with cyber crime. The contest promotes good cyber etiquette by challenging students to engage in creating the cyber safety programs. Students participating in this challenge will have their contest entries judged by a panel of experts, and the winning school will be publicized in May 2017.
“With just a touch of a screen or a click of a mouse, our children can be the targets of bullies and predators," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "My Office is proud to partner with law enforcement, educators, parents and students to keep our children safe by addressing the very serious threats posed by online predators and cyber bullies."
Organized under the aegis of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN), law enforcement agencies participating in tomorrow’s conference include the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
“Children who are growing up in this high tech age are being targeted by online predators at an alarmingly high rate,” said Deanne Tilton Durfee, Executive Director for the ICAN. “Each year, this Symposium will provide participants with resources and tools to help children learn how to protect themselves and be safe in the cyber world, while enjoying all of the benefits of the fast-growing technologies.”
The Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium is hosted this year by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the planning committee also includes participation by the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, the Anti-Defamation League, Fox Entertainment Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power,” said Dr. Heather Banis, victim’s assistance coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “The Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium helps our students be ‘in the know,’ empowering them to stay safe online.”