Elementary students throughout New Orleans learn about cyber safety

Cybersecurity Day at Orleans schools

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Elementary school students throughout New Orleans learned about how to protect themselves online. Safety is a growing concern as more kids have online access.

More than 2,000 kids in New Orleans learned about stranger danger, and the importance of protecting private information online.

"It's incredibly challenging and important. Kids are getting on younger and younger and younger, and the dangers keep growing and growing. And we as parents often don't know what to be teaching them. We don't know about the technology cause the kids know more about it than we often do," Director of the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, Patrick Craven said.

According to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, 40 percent of kids in grades four through eight chatted online with a stranger, and more than half gave out their phone numbers.

"Then they'll eventually meet strangers, and that's just, we've got to stop that. We've got to be able to get these basic information to these children that that is dangerous and not to do that, not to be sharing your personal information," Craven said.

Former Saints running back Deuce McAllister paid students a visit as well.

"Letting them know and understand that not giving their passwords out to strangers, not trying to meet strangers online, and understanding that everybody that they meet online maybe is not their friend," McAllister said.

As a parent of pre-teens, he's worried about their online safety.

"I do have some of these concerns, have tried to put up the barriers, the parental controls whether it's the television, and online, and just make sure I go online and check some of the things, websites, familiarizing myself with some of the things they're into as well," McAllister said.

While parents can put safeguards up, cyber safety educators say it's important for kids to learn how to protect themselves.

Students also learned about the harmful effects of cyberbullying and how to be careful about what they post online.

This was part of Cybersecurity Awareness month and ISC2 Security Congress taking place in New Orleans.

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