Father of Jordan DeMay speaks at Cybersecurity Symposium
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University’s Cybersecurity Symposium hosted discussions Monday about artificial intelligence, cyber threats and ways to defend yourself online.
A large topic of discussion was keeping children safe online -- something John DeMay, father of Marquette teen Jordan DeMay, has become passionate about.
Jordan DeMay died by suicide after being sextorted by three Nigerian men on social media, according to federal prosecutors.
John DeMay said internet crimes are a lethal epidemic to children.
“Parents need to stop giving free, unfettered access to the internet to their children,” DeMay said. “It’s not safe for them. It’s not healthy for them. Talk to your children about the real world, warn them of the dangers of operating and living in an alternate, parallel reality online.”
150 cybersecurity professionals from across the country gathered at the Northern Center.
Director of Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Institute Michael Sauer said cybersecurity education shouldn’t wait.
“We’re having K-12 curriculum designed around cybersecurity,” Sauer said. “So it’s not until you’re a professional and you come to a symposium or an event like this, we need to be having that education, and we need to be having those discussions in K-12 schools.”
“We may start with some basic principles,” Sauer said. “But, once we reach 6th or 7th grade, we move to some more advanced concepts on how to be cyber smart, what is good cyber hygiene, how to be a good digital citizen, so we progress through the curriculum as we go.”
The Cybersecurity Symposium will continue Tuesday.
Copyright 2023 WLUC. All rights reserved.