Cybersecurity Awareness Week


In today’s online word it’s likely you’ve been hacked or known someone who has.

This week is National Cybersecurity Week.

A student resource officer at State College Area High School, says once a cyber criminal gets your personal information, they can do a lot of damage.
He says they’ve had investigations where a cybersecurity victim has tried for a year to reclaim their identity.

Sydney Dynan, a Senior at State College area high school, says it’s not uncommon for one of her fiends to be scammed online.

“I’ve seen a lot of my friends get hacked on Instagram and I don’t know what it is, or how it happens, but I know that it has happened and I’ve witnessed it, and I also see a lot of my friends getting hacked on Snapchat too,” Dynan said.

That’s why Nick Zepp, Senior IT Manager with the district says they teach students starting in elementary school online safety through a “Digital Citizenship” curriculum.

One of the most important tips is for passwords.

“A lot of times we teach students to use passphrases, meaning that your password is not just a word or some numbers or something like that, it might be a phrase of your favorite song,” Zepp said.

“Don’t access these hyperlinks, and don’t provide any of this information until you can absolutely one hundred percent verify that the information you’re providing is going back to the legitimate company, whether it be a shipping company or a bank,” Aston said.

“I think it’s really important that kids who are younger or are in the elementary schools understand how to make a complicated password, so using capitals and underscores and special characters and numbers,” Dynan said.

According to Varonis, damage costs from cybersecurity is expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. By using these tips, SRO Aston says they can go a long way.

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