Interview with Mom’s Choice Award-Winner Derek Fisher

Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.

Digital guru Derek Fisher has a huge passion for keeping technology users—which is everyone on the planet who’s connected—safe. He wants everyone to use technology safely and securely. His Alicia Connected book series has won numerous awards. In these books, Alicia and her friends have fun while learning about the ways to stay safe online. He’s here today to talk about those important topics all parents can relate to—and introduce his third book in the series, the Mom’s Choice Award-winning Alicia Connected: Lost and Found.

MCA: Derek, we’re so pleased you could be with us today to discuss the all-important topic of cybersecurity. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I have worked professionally in the hardware, software, and cybersecurity space for nearly 30 years. Today, I work as a cybersecurity leader and architect in a large financial institution, as well as teaching cybersecurity at Temple University. I frequently speak on the topic and have a cybersecurity book published on how to integrate security into software development. My decades of experience in the technology space has given me a unique opportunity to give back to those who are still learning more about technology. I have a teenage daughter, who was the inspiration for the Alicia Connected series. I enjoy outdoor activities like camping, running, biking, and kayaking. I also enjoy the meditative qualities of gardening.

MCA: Please share with us what your path to becoming a writer was like.

I’ve always enjoyed storytelling. I started “writing” when I was younger but it was mostly for fun or for something to do. Even when I am verbally describing an event, I usually try to provide as much detail and flair to the story as possible. Given my experience in the security space, I wanted to tell a story that helps others understand some of the complexities with security, without being overly technical. Children are being introduced to technology at a much younger age than the previous generation, and that will only continue. I wrote this series for parents and children to understand how to address the security concerns with technology.

MCA: What was your inspiration for writing Alicia Connected: Lost and Found?

My daughter is the inspiration for the main character, Alicia. While some of the stories were not precisely those of her and her friends, they are certainly topics that most children in late elementary school will come across. It’s easy to be in this field and think that everyone knows about some of the things to look out for when using technology; however, that is just not true. Even some people that I come across that are technically savvy still struggle with understanding the security issues that exist.

MCA: Why is cybersecurity such an important issue for parents and children?

Cybersecurity continues to be a significant issue for everyone. We are surrounded by technology, whether we like it or not. It’s integrated into our appliances, in our pockets, in our cars. However, many times, security is either not incorporated or is turned off in order to make the product work more seamlessly. This leaves the user open to attack by bad actors who know how to exploit these weaknesses. Depending on the situation, this may be harmless, or it may have dire consequences for the victim.

One of the downsides of the internet is that individuals can be completely anonymous and we often have a difficult time distinguishing what’s real and fake online. This can help a bad actor trick an individual into doing something that they would otherwise not do. However, there are basic principles to be aware of online. Trust, but verify. If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Have an elevated sense of awareness.

Children are more likely to fall for scams because they have not built up the natural immunity that many adults have obtained through experience or knowledge. That is why parents need to understand and impart that on their children.

MCA: What are some of the key lessons found in the third book in this series?

Take breaks from technology, not believe everything you read online, and be careful who you trust online.

MCA: If you could ensure readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?

Enjoy technology, there are many benefits and opportunities with it. However, understand that there are a lot of scams and bad actors who are looking to take advantage of someone who is not aware. It is always good to have a healthy apprehension about the digital environment that we live in.

MCA: How does Book 3 — Lost and Found— fit into the rest of the “Alicia Connected” book series?

Some of the topics in the early books were more playful and less foreboding. While the aim was always to educate without inducing fear in the reader, I tended to go a little easy on the topics in the early books. For instance, I focused more on scams, stranger danger, and general good practices for using technology.

In the third book, I shifted to a more challenging topic around online predators that focus on children. I attempted to approach it in a way that doesn’t make it frightening, but at the same time provides enough context for what can occur. It’s an unfortunate world we live in where this is a topic of consideration, but I hope that parents and children can gain the sense of apprehension required in this situation.

MCA: In today’s world, I imagine this is much sought-after advice. What kind of response have you received so far?

Alicia Connected has been well received, and I always travel with a few of the books so that I can share them when the topic comes up. I’ve been told that it’s a topic that many parents are interested in and concerned about, so the book is welcomed.

MCA: As you have written for both adults and children, I’m wondering what might be next for your writing endeavors. Could you share that with us?

I am working on another book for children, as well as a cybersecurity novel for adults. However, I have a lot of other projects that I am working on and these are being worked on as I find the time. However, I’m hoping that the children’s book will be available sometime in 2024.

MCA: Sharing your expertise with others is such an invaluable service, Derek. Thanks so much for joining us today!

You can learn more about Derek Fisher and his award-winning book, Alicia Connected: Lost and Found, by visiting his MCA Shop pages. You can also contact him via:

Personal website:
Website for the book series:
LinkedIn profile

Interview With Yvonne M Morgan

One Comment on “Interview with Mom’s Choice Award-Winner Derek Fisher”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *