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Nicholas County students receive training on cyber safety

Dec. 10, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- More than 30 students from Nicholas County High School's Future Business Leaders of America organization spent Friday afternoon getting trained on cyber safety from officials with the Marshall University Forensic Science Center.

The students, said teacher Susan Jones, will take what they learned and make presentations to students in Nicholas County's two high schools, two middle schools and to parents.

The topics covered by various graduate students and employees included digital evidence, social media, how computers can be hacked and used for criminal activity and basic cyber safety.

Chris Vance opened the session by talking about sexting, the sending of explicit pictures and videos, between minors. He told the group that sending such images is considered a felony by law enforcement and that minors are being prosecuted nationwide.

He also said one West Virginia student was investigated last year in a case he assisted with obtaining the digital evidence. The student was given a light sentence, but Vance said authorities are seeking to make examples of minors who commit such acts.

In one Florida case, he said a boyfriend and girlfriend under the age of 18 were prosecuted for sending explicit images to each other. Now they have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

John Sammons, an assistant professor in Marshall's Integrated Science and Technology Department and director of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence, said this was the first time they've done any cyber training for high school students. But he said it is something they want to expand upon given the ever-changing world of technology.

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