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Oct. 14: CMU's Information Networking Institute, WQED Multimedia To Create Cybersecurity Outreach Programs

Contacts: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /
George Hazimanolis / 412-622-1366 /

CMU's Information Networking Institute, WQED Multimedia
To Create Cybersecurity Outreach Programs

SecureMyCyberspacePITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Information Networking Institute (INI) and WQED Multimedia are collaborating to create and disseminate educational outreach programs and materials about cybersecurity. The organizations have established a website at
"October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and a time to recognize the responsible use of computers and the Internet as important to public safety and well-being. The collaboration between INI and WQED will provide strong educational programming to raise public awareness of cybersecurity issues," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the INI, and director of education, training and outreach at Carnegie Mellon CyLab, one of the largest university-based cybersecurity education and research centers in the U.S.
Tsamitis said the new partnership unites the efforts of two education initiatives: CMU's MySecureCyberspace and WQED's iQ:smartmedia.
MySecureCyberspace was developed in 2005 in response to former President George W. Bush's national strategy to secure cyberspace. The Web portal helps the public understand the dangers of Web surfing and offers an encyclopedia of terms, articles and tools to combat cyberbullying, identity theft and the dangers of online predators. An interactive cyber-game, called Carnegie Cadets: The MySecureCyberspace, is designed to teach Internet safety and computer security to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.
WQED's Education Department has developed a strategy, called iQ:smartmedia that addresses research, outreach, creative partnerships and online engagement.
"WQED has long been home to educational innovation, ever since we were founded as the first community broadcast station in the country," said Jennifer Stancil, executive director of educational partnerships at WQED. "We are excited to reinvigorate the education department through community partnerships, like the MySecureCyberspace Initiative, that advance learning around critical topics like cybersecurity, digital fluency and media literacy.
"Because Carnegie Mellon is a leading research university in the areas that contribute to the interdisciplinary field of cybersecurity - engineering, computer science, public policy and business — we are in a perfect position to help educate the public about the importance of securing the global information network," Tsamitis said. "This new collaboration is a bold step forward in achieving our collective goals of safer Internet use."  
"One of the strategies of WQED's iQ:smartmedia initiative is to collaborate and develop creative partnerships. We are thrilled to be working with Carnegie Mellon University's Information Networking Institute to increase awareness through our multimedia platform," said Deborah L. Acklin, president and chief executive officer of WQED.
To highlight the importance of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, WQED also will air the television program "Alice's Message: I'm Here to Save Your Life" at 10:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28 and at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31. The program features the true story of 13-year-old Alicia Kozakiewicz of Pittsburgh, who was kidnapped and assaulted by a man she met on an Internet chat room.
Other Carnegie Mellon cybersecurity initiatives for children involve the university's School of Computer Science and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which recently announced a national competition in which students will share their knowledge about how to avoid dangers associated with Internet use by creating computer animations that promote safety concepts. The animation competition, the latest component to the FBI's ongoing Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Program, will incorporate the use of Alice, a software package developed and provided free of charge by CMU that enables even novices to make 3-D computer animations.
The CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab has developed Anti-Phishing Phil, an online game that teaches computer users of all ages about how to avoid email phishing attacks. The CMU spinoff Wombat Technologies also has developed a cache of educational cybersecurity games now used by the departments of State and Energy, as well as the U.S. Air Force.