Experts Talk Child Protection at RSA Conference

On New Year's Day in 2002, Alicia Kozakiewicz was lured away from her family home by Scott Tyree, a man who had corresponded with the 13-year-old girl for a year in a Yahoo chat room. Over the course of several days, Kozakiewicz was held captive and assaulted by Tyree, who broadcast the attack over live streaming video. She was rescued by the FBI after an anonymous tip led agents to Tyree's Virginia home.

On Thursday, Kozakiewicz (pictured) brought her dramatic story to the RSA Conference 2015 in San Francisco, where she joined several other speakers for a panel entitled "Into the Woods: Protecting Our Youth from the Wolves of Cyberspace." She currently heads The Alicia Project, an advocacy group aimed at educating the public about sexual exploitation, online predators, and abduction.

"In order to keep up with my friendships, I got a screen name and began talking to my friends from school, who introduced me to their friends, and their friends, and their friends, until I was really in a realm of people I didn't know all that well, but we felt very connected because it could be traced back to that one person," Kozakiewicz told the audience.

Wide-Ranging Panel

The session was moderated by Sandra Toms, Vice President at RSA and Curator of the RSA Conference. Joining Kozakiewicz on stage was Sharon Cooper, a developmental and forensic pediatrician who evaluates and treats children who have been victims of various types of abuse; Michael Osborn, Chief of the Violent Crimes Against Children Unit for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Lance Spitzner, Training Director for SANS Securing The Human.

The overwhelming consensus among the panelists is that effective communication by parents and other trusted adults with children about their online activities is crucial to preventing potential problems. Cooper also emphasized the fact that children...

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