Students host cyber security fair that draws awareness to new issues in tech

Published by adviser, Author: Rebecca Koch - Rocket Contributor , Date: October 27, 2016
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Students enrolled in a cyber security class held a fair today in the Smith Student Center ballroom that brought awareness to issues that can occur from using online features.

Stephen Larson, who teaches the cyber security class at SRU and helped organized the fair, said the booths were all students run and covered topics such as securely deleting data, securing a smart phone, social media safety, file encryption, securing Wi-Fi at home and how to safely use a public Wi-Fi.

Larson said his goal is to raise cyber security awareness for those at the university since it is an issue that is woven into everyday life.

“Some people say this should be a class required of everybody, kind of like computer competency,” Larson said. “I’ve had a couple people say cyber security should be a required one credit class since everyone has to know it.”

Larson said the point of the fair is not to make everyone experts, but tell them that the topics covered are something that needs to be thought about, like having a strong password.

This was the third year that the cyber security fair was held and Larson said that although the basic principles for cyber security remain the same, the new students that host it every year bring a different spin to the information presented.

Larson said that there are new issues in cyber security and demand attention.

“There are different things that go on in the world, for instance this year random ware is a big topic,” Larson said. “Random ware is a popular threat that we have. It’s where you pick up a virus somewhere and your computer will be encrypted until you pay ransom.”

Larson said the feedback from those that attend the fair is that they weren’t aware of some of the issues discussed but were glad they came.

The fair also gave out prizes, which Larson said included a laptop, drone and gift cards.

The fair also had representation from PNC Bank, who presented about safe online banking and The New York Times who brought virtual reality goggles.

“If I had to pick just one cyber security issue, having a strong password would be the most important, but you’ve got to be careful with everything,” Larson said.

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