RIT Hosts Internet Safety Conference June 8




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Technology has ushered in new threats against our nation’s youth.

Twenty-percent of youths aged 10-17 are sexually solicited over the Internet each year. Research also suggests that one-third of college students are victimized by more than one type of cybercrime each year—and one in four know who the offender was.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies is teaming with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s New York branch to take action by hosting the Internet safety conference, “Keeping Children Safe: In a Changing Online World.”

“Children as young as six years of age now routinely access the Internet using computers or devices, such as cell phones, that enable text-messaging and transferring of digitized photos and other documents,” says Sam McQuade, the coordinator of the cross-disciplinary professional studies master’s program in RIT’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies and author of the best-selling textbook Understanding and Managing Cybercrime.

McQuade will join Associate Professor Jennifer Schneider, from RIT’s civil engineering technology, environmental management and safety department, to provide a comparative overview of federally funded online information security and cyber ethics teaching tools that are currently available to kindergarten-12th grade school teachers.

Other presentations include sessions by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and www.netsmartz.org.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Holly Hubert will explore areas that are often dangerous for children on the Internet. Topics will include instant messaging, file sharing services and blogging Web sites that are frequently utilized by child predators.

Mike Robins, the community outreach coordinator for NetSmartz, will discuss the dangers children and teens may encounter online, the characteristics of Internet predators and victims, and Internet safety resources that can help prevent online victimization.

The event is open to the public. On-site registration begins at 8:00 a.m. June 8. The conference will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and will be followed by a reception hosted by Wiley McKenzie, dean of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology.