CLEARWATER, FL--(Marketwired - September 30, 2016) - The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and the Center for Cyber Safety and Education will launch a new cyber safety patch at GS Fest 2016 in Tampa this weekend. The first of its kind in the country, the pilot patch program introduces and reinforces basic cyber safety principles with girls and exposes them to the cybersecurity field. The patch is available to all Girl Scout levels -- Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador -- and to any Girl Scout troop in the US.
Patch requirements vary by Girl Scout membership level. All levels can fulfill requirements for the patches using the Center's newest materials featuring Garfield and friends. Ambassadors also have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership qualities by giving cyber safety lessons to others.
The patch is part of the Center's Safe and Secure Online program, which offers tips and resources to children, parents, educators and seniors to protect themselves online. Safe and Secure Online draws from the expertise of members of (ISC)2, the largest global body of certified cybersecurity experts. Since its inception in 2006, Safe and Secure Online has helped 75,000 children, parents and senior citizens become responsible digital citizens.
"We are proud to kick off National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a program that addresses two of the most urgent issues affecting our children today -- cybersecurity awareness and education," said Pat Craven, director for the Center. "We look forward to working with the west central Florida troops and others around the country to make as many Scouts as possible cyber safe and to help girls realize their potential."
Mr. Craven added, "Our research indicates that the percentage of women that makes up the cybersecurity workforce -- roughly 10 -- has not budged over the last decade. To alter this statistic, it's critical that we foster girls' interest in STEM throughout their education. We hope that this program helps us finally move the needle by opening up career possibilities to this sorely underrepresented population."
Jessica Muroff, CEO of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, added, "We are committed to providing girls with opportunities in STEM fields. By collaborating with the Center, we are able not only to empower girls to respect themselves and others online but also to discover new opportunities in an exciting career field."
To learn more and to bring the patch to your Girl Scout troop, please visit www.SafeAndSecureOnline.org/girlscouts.
About Center for Cyber Safety and Education
The Center for Cyber Safety and Education (Center), is a non-profit charitable trust committed to making the cyber world a safer place for everyone. The Center works to ensure that people across the globe have a positive and safe experience online through their educational programs, scholarships, and research. Visit www.isc2cares.org.
About Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) serves over 19,000 girls and nearly 8,500 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties. GSWCF receives funding from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and area United Way agencies. Did you know that more than 53% of all women business owners are Girl Scout alumnae? For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, visit www.gswcf.org or call 800-881-4475.