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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Own Your Own Space

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I have been friends with Linda McCarthy for many years. As a security strategist she has occupied a number of roles -- running research groups, managing corporate security, writing professional books, serving as a senior consultant, conducting professional training....and more. That she isn't widely known is more a function of her not seeking it by having a blog or gaining publicity by publishing derivative hacks to software than it is anything else; There are many in the field who are highly competent and who practice out of the spotlight most of the time.

One of Linda's passions over the last few years has been in reaching out to kids -- especially teens -- to make them aware of how to be safe when online. Her most recent effort is an update to her book for the youngest computer users. The book is now published under the Creative Commons license. The terms allow free use of the book for personal use. That's a great deal for a valuable resource!

I'm enclosing the recent press release on the book to provide all the information on how to get the book (or selected chapters).

If you're an experienced computer user, this will all seem fairly basic. But that's the point -- the basics require special care to present to new users, and in terms they understand. (And yes, this is targeted mostly to residents of the U.S.A. and maybe Canada, but the material should be useful for everyone, including parents.)

Industry-Leading Internet Security Book for Kids, Teens, Adults Available Now as Free Download

Own Your Space® teams with Teens, Experts, Corporate Sponsors for Kids' Online Safety

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 -- As unstructured summertime looms, kids and teens across the nation are likely to be spending more time on the Internet and texting.

Now, a free download is available to help them keep themselves safer both online and while using a cell phone.

Own Your Space®, the industry-leading Internet security book for youth, parents, and adults, was first written by Linda McCarthy, a 20-year network and Internet-security expert.

This all-new free edition -- by McCarthy, security pros, and dedicated teenagers -- teaches youths and even their parents how to keep themselves "and their stuff" safer online.

A collaboration between network-security experts, teenagers, and artists, the flexible licensing of Creative Commons, and industry-leading corporate sponsors, together have made it possible for everyone on the Internet to access Own Your Space for free via myspace.com/ownyourspace, facebook.com/ownyourspace.net, and www.ownyourspace.net.

"With the rise of high-technology communications within the teen population, this is the obvious solution to an increasingly ubiquitous problem: how to deliver solid, easy-to-understand Internet security information into their hands? By putting it on the Internet and their hard drives, for free," said Linda McCarthy, former Senior Director of Internet Safety at Symantec.

Besides the contributors' own industry experience, Own Your Space also boasts the "street cred" important to the book's target audience; this new edition has been overseen by a cadre of teens who range in age from 13 to 17.

"In this age of unsafe-Internet and risky-texting practices that have led to the deaths and the jailing of minors, I'm thankful for everyone who works toward and sponsors our advocacy to keep more youth safe while online and on cell phones," McCarthy said.

Everyone interested in downloading Own Your Space® for free can visit myspace.com/ownyourspace, facebook.com/ownyourspace.net, and www.ownyourspace.net. Corporations who would like to increase the availability of the book and promote child safety online through their hardware and Web properties can contact Linda McCarthy atlmccarthy@ownyourspace.net.

McCarthy is releasing the book in June to celebrate Internet Safety Month.

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