Alabama creates training program to fight cyber bullying

sad child_cyber bullying

The Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Attorney General’s office have joined together to fight cyber bullying and other concerns in the cyber world.

While social media and other online resources offer unbelievable learning opportunities for students in today’s society, they come with some very real risks including: cyber bullying, inappropriate connections, and securing personal data.

According to a 2016 WalletHub study, Alabama was ranked number eight in the nation for states with the biggest bullying problems, and was the fifth highest ranked state in the nation for percentage of high school students who attempted suicide.

Which is one of the many reasons why the Alabama Department of Education and the Attorney General’s office have created a training program to help both teachers and parents fight against the dangers of cyber bullying.

“Modern technology, in the right hands, brings the world to our children’s front door and enables them to live and learn limitlessly. However, as parents, educators, and law enforcement, we all have a unique responsibility to keep them safe,” said Ed Richardson, Interim Alabama State Superintendent of Education. “All those involved have a shared vision of keeping our children shielded from the ills of society. This training will assist in that effort.”

The training for parents will include:

  • understanding how quickly children can be contacted by non-age appropriate predators online
  • working cell phone applications and formats (SnapChat, Instagam, etc.) and other less known video chatting platforms used to lure students
  • indicators that a student may be a victim, and how to respond in that event
  • laws pertaining to the cyber world, and much more.

Investigators will also train school faculty and staff members on how important the school environment is when dealing with online issues and how to develop policies that address the issues before they start. When to contact law enforcement, preserving evidence for law enforcement, and how to make a report for law enforcement will be covered as well.

“We have been working together for several months to develop cyber training that helps parents and teachers determine if children are being targeted and how to report it to law enforcement. Our training is focused on protecting our children and our schools,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Training will be conducted by seasoned veterans in law enforcement who are skilled in cyber world safety issues. They are:

Sterling “Jake” Frith – Frith is a Special Agent in the Investigations Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, responsible for Computer Forensics and Cybercrimes. Before coming to the AG’s office, Agent Frith served with the Prattville Police Department and Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. He began working in the cyber realm 8 years ago, with 18 years in Law Enforcement. Agent Frith is a Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator, Access Data Certified Examiner, Seized Computer Evidence Recovery Specialist and an Open Source Practitioner. He has over 600 hours of training in cyber crimes and cyber forensics to go along with his experience.

Agent Frith has an Undergraduate Degree in Criminal Justice and a Graduate degree in Information Security and Assurance. Agent Frith serves as a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Task Force.

Robert “Bobby” Moore – Moore is a Special Agent in the Investigations Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. S.A. Moore has over 10 years of experience as a law enforcement professional, with a majority of his experience as an investigator assigned to handle Cyber and White Collar Crimes with a focus on sexual crimes against children that involved technology. S.A. Moore is also a certified digital forensics examiner, holding the Certified Computer Forensics Examiner, Access Data Certified Examiner, and Certified Fraud Examiner certifications related to digital forensics and fraud investigation.

He holds degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi – Undergraduate in Accounting and Finance and Graduate Degrees in Criminal Justice with a focus on Cyber Criminology. He has taught courses in digital forensics and cyber-related crime for Troy University, Auburn University at Montgomery, The University of Mississippi and Loyola University of New Orleans.