Students practice cyber security

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As the world gets smarter with technology, schools, jobs and company stores are becoming more advanced.  Attackers are learning how computers work and are constantly finding weaknesses in the systems. These weaknesses allow them to hack information such as credit, search history and identity. This indicates that cyber security is important to protect personal information.

    “As the world turns more and more to technology each and every day to make life easier and more enjoyable, the threat of attacks–not just at a personal level, but at the business, state, and federal level–exponentially increases,” district technology manager Shawn Crouch said.

   Cyber security is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as “A measure taken to protect a computer or computer system against unauthorized access or attack.” This definition provides an accurate representation of what Cyber Security stands for.

“I think that it is in place to keep individuals and businesses safe from theft,” business teacher Kimberly Pate said.

  It is commonplace to teach children, teens and adults how to be safe on the web. Sometimes even those who are educated on the subject might do something that is not safe by unknowingly giving their information – such as identity and passwords – out to hackers. This can lead to more advanced problems such as identity theft, robbery, ruining credit rating, etc.

 “The primary job of the tech department in our school is to maintain our systems,” Crouch said. “We do not often get the chance to teach students.  However, we are always a resource for the teachers to come to for their lesson planning and are happy to help in any way we can.”

 

  Hacking is widespread and can happen to anybody who is unprepared. A security hacker is someone who seeks to breach defense and exploit weakness in a computer system or network. People who shop online do not always check the validity of the site they are buying from. Because of this, hackers are more accessible to their information. Sites such as Amazon and Ebay are well protected, meanwhile shopping sites such as Wish are less secure.

 “My biggest concern about cyber security is phishing,” Crouch said. “Phishing is an attack where a bad guy sends you an email that looks very believable. They might include a link for you to click on that takes you to a malicious website, or they might send an attachment to the email and ask you to download and run it. Phishing can even happen over phone.”

  Hacking can also take a physical form. It is not uncommon for someone to leave their phone out – open and vulnerable to a hacker’s attack.  “I always take my phone everywhere I go to avoid getting hacked.” Junior Britney Patton said.

  The most common tactic in avoiding hackers is regularly changing passwords. It is suggested by Crouch to change pass codes every 80 – 90 days to avoid the risk of being hacked.

“I hear of people getting hacked or forgetting their passwords nearly every day,” Crouch said. “There are many different theories out there on how often to change passwords. Some people say that if you have a long enough and complex enough password that you shouldn’t need to change it at all. However I don’t buy into that just yet.”

  “I’ve never been hacked,” sophomore Jillian Botteron said. “I constantly change passwords and never tell them to anyone.”

   Computers have been used since they were invented and imagining a life without them now can be difficult for most. Hackers pose a threat on the computer industry in due to customers losing faith in the offered options of cyber security. Computers help people around the world and if we were to remove the computer network jobs, schools and companies would feel the brunt of it.

 “I would lose touch with family members that are out of state. I would also have to pay my bills by mail instead of online. I would not be able to Google and watch YouTube videos to learn about things. I would also have to start looking in cookbooks for recipes” Pate said. “It would be kind of hard to go backwards, but I would survive, I guess.”