Computer science class develops cyber security fair

Kevin Squires, Assistant News Editor
April 9, 2014

“What do you know about encryption, backing up your data, or staying safe online?” Dr. Stephen Larson, professor of Computer Science, asked when explaining the cyber security fair, being hosted by the Computer Science Department Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Robert M. Smith Student Center. Organized by students as part of the practical computing security class, the fair is being held to answer those and many other questions students have with regards to their electronics. It will include information booths, treats provided by the Grove and the opportunity for prizes.

Questions about encryption and backing up data are just some of the things that the fair will address. It will also examine how to make sure you’re not giving away too much information on social media, securely deleting files off a computer’s hard disk before selling or giving away the computer, creating strong passwords, protecting against malware, and securing electronic devices.

“[Students] need to know how to be safe online,” Dr. Stephen Larson, professor of Computer Science, said. “And they need the chance win the laptop.”

The chance to win a Dell laptop, Kindle Fire HD or gift cards to various locations is available for students attending the event. They can take a prequiz beforehand to test cyber security awareness. Following the quiz, they will go from booth to booth getting stamps signifying that they visited each booth and can take a follow-up quiz and be entered to win the prizes.

Students from high schools were originally to have designated time earlier at the fair to visit Slippery Rock University, learn about the department, and tour campus. However, due to the high number of snow cancellations this winter, many were unable to attend. Those that were still interested in attending will participate in the fair without a morning program. The event is being sponsored by the SRU computer science department, Dell, Electronic Technology Center, Armstrong, Wal-Mart of Grove City, East Tec, and others.

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