Carnegie Mellon launches new MySecureCyberspace game

04/13/05

University partners with i-SAFE America to promote safe computing

PITTSBURGH--With Hollywood-style hoopla, Carnegie Mellon CyLab and the Information Networking Institute (INI) will launch a new education initiative called MySecureCyberspace, which includes a game for children and a Web-based portal for home users.

Carnegie Mellon University also said it will partner with i-SAFE America, a nonprofit foundation focused on making students cybersafe to expand outreach of MySecureCyberspace into i-SAFE's nationwide SAFE Schools Education Initiative and Outreach Campaign.

Pradeep K. Khosla, CyLab co-founder and dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, said, "MySecureCyberspace will be key in reaching our goal of raising the cyberawareness the safe and responsible online behavior of 10 million citizens worldwide in the next five years starting with 20,000 households in the Pittsburgh area."

i-SAFE celebrity spokesman Robert Davi, whose feature films include "Predator II," "James Bond: Licence to Kill" and "Son of Pink Panther," will help the university launch the new high tech game designed to protect children from cyberpredators at 6 p.m. April 14 at Soldiers and Sailors Museum and Memorial in Oakland.

Davi's appearance and the launch of MySecureCyberspace are part of a symposium celebrating the Information Networking Institute's 15 years of innovation and excellence in education.

Teri Schroeder, CEO and founder of i-SAFE, said partnering the leader on online safety with one of the most technologically sophisticated campuses in the world will lead to innovations like MySecureCyberspace, a tool for the global protection of all computer users with Internet access.

With MySecureCyberspace, students are given access to an interactive game environment where cartoon figures resembling superheroes from the wacky antics of Disney Channel's Kim Possible to the staid humor of the 1950s' George Jetson space family help children learn about the dangers of Internet viruses and cybercriminals.

"Complementing the game for children, the MySecureCyberspace portal equips home users with customized information to help them secure their part of cyperspace. The portal provides users with the tactical countermeasures to stay cybersafe and to better understand the legal, ethical and privacy issues related to a variety of cybersecurity threats," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, head of the Information Networking Institute and director of education, training and outreach for Carnegie Mellon CyLab.

Tsamitis said this new partnership was inspired by CyLab's mission to make a societal impact with its outreach. CyLab and the INI, together with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, will educate individuals with scant experience with online computing. The public schools' Emerging Links Digital Divide program provides families with desktop computers and broadband access to ultimately access Web-based educational programs like Carnegie Mellon's newly launched MySecureCyberspace.

Carnegie Mellon researchers say the new game Web portal will be accessible by the general public later this summer. The new Carnegie Mellon/ i-SAFE partnership also will work to develop programs that promote best practices among law enforcement officials and computer crime investigators to be more proactive and add additional security perimeter for Internet users.

"We are excited to be working with a world-class institution like Carnegie Mellon, and together we will create national standards and development training for students, teachers and law enforcement agencies that will be the standard for future generations of security specialists," Schroeder said.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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