LOS ANGELES – The United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and a coalition of law enforcement agencies and community organizations hosted the 10th Annual Cybercrime Prevention Symposium on Monday, October 15 at the California Endowment in Los Angeles. The day-long seminar for more than 450 educators, parents, and middle and high school students is marking 10 years of providing cutting-edge information on cybersafety and digital reputation.
The Symposium will address a wide range of cyber-related security and safety topics with speakers conducting informative discussions on issues that will include online exploitation of children and teens, cyberbullying, the implications of digital communication on health, digital reputation, navigating peer pressure, cyberabuse, internet dangers, and sextortion.
This year’s Symposium will feature an interactive presentation on sextortion by students from the Theatre Department at California State University, Northridge and the traditional lunchtime appearance of surprise celebrity guests from Disney television programs.
“It has become more important than ever for adults and children alike to have the necessary skills to stay safe in cyberspace,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “For the past 10 years, this Symposium has played a significant and important role in presenting strategies that will help protect children from online threats.”
“Educating our youth is half the battle in combatting cyber criminals who target children with sextortion schemes, bullying, grooming and more,” said Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “In ten years of participating in the cyber symposium, the FBI and our partners have educated hundreds of kids who know how to avoid being victimized as a result of attending this important event.”
Student teams from each of the schools attending this year’s Symposium will also be invited to participate in the 8th Annual Cybersafety Challenge. This contest asks attending students to develop a cybersafety program at their respective schools to educate the entire student body on the various risks associated with cybercrime. The contest promotes good cyber etiquette by challenging students to engage in creating the cybersafety programs. Students participating in this challenge will have their contest entries judged by a panel of experts, and the winning school will be announced in May 2019.
“With technology ever-expanding, our children are increasingly vulnerable targets for online predators and bullies,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Partnering with law enforcement, educators, parents and students, we are working to address these threats to our kids’ safety and well-being.”
Organized under the aegis of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN), law enforcement agencies participating in this year’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, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, and the Los Angeles Police Department – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). The Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium is hosted this year by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the planning committee also includes participation by Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, the Anti-Defamation League, Fox Entertainment Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“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. “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.”