Watching for online scams and setting strong passwords may seem more like problems for IT technicians than 12-year-olds.
But District 14 U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and representatives of Google said today, Nov. 18, that students of middle school age “are more connected than ever” and need to know how to stay safe in cyberspace.
“With students having greater access to the Internet through cell phones, tablets and other devices, it is important that they learn to use these tools responsibly,” said Google spokesperson Jamie Hill in a news release.
Google and Graves, who represents Paulding County in the U.S. House of Representatives, visited Sammy McClure Middle School today, Nov. 18, to tell students how to stay safe while intelligently using the Internet.
Graves helped two Google employees deliver a 45-minute presentation called “The Online Safety Roadshow: How to Be Internet Awesome.”
The congressman said students now “are more connected than ever, and as a dad to three kids I know how important it is to make sure every click, tweet and post is done responsibly.
“When it comes to being cyber secure, we can all be doing more to keep ourselves safe online,” he said. “I’m grateful to the team at Google and thank the students and teachers at Sammy McClure Middle School for learning with us today.”
Google developed the “Roadshow” as an online safety assembly program for middle school students and focuses on five tips for staying safe and being smart online.
The tips included information on “sharing with care,” setting strong passwords, using settings on different websites and apps, identifying online scams, and “being kind online.”
Graves opened the assembly by telling the students about the importance of online safety.
He also competed in the password “faceoff challenge” in which students were asked to come up with the strongest possible password.
The congressman has focused on cybersecurity in recent years in the U.S. House.
He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee.
Graves’ Internet-related legislation this year has included an amendment to the federal budget in May that directed the U.S. Department of Justice and relevant agencies to work with the private sector to establish best practices for active cyber defense techniques.
Earlier this month, Graves launched a new cybersecurity page on his website, tomgraves.house.gov/cyber, that includes tips for keeping users safe online.
It also features videos of Graves answering questions from Northwest Georgia residents about cybersecurity.