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April 4, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU Cyber Security Fair addresses 'Smart Phones, Stupid People'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University students enrolled in the "Computer Science 301 Practical Computer Security" course taught by Stephen Larson, assistant professor of computer science, will present a Cyber Security Fair at 12:30 p.m., April 15, in the Smith Student Center.

A pre-public session for invited high school students will run 9 a.m. to noon.

"We planned the day to help those who know little about cyber security issues involving computers and smart phones - and those who think they know a lot about such issues," Larson said. "This is information everyone, especially those on the SRU campus, needs to know.

Participants will learn how to recognize "phishing emails" and what to do when they receive one, Larson said, explaining the "Gone Phishing" booth at the fair. "The 'phishermen' will fish and catch an email, which they then have to determine if it is a phishing or an innocuous email," he said.

A second booth at the fair will offer "Don't Forget to Wipe," in which participants will learn that before disposing of a computer they should do more than reformat the hard disk and reinstall the operating system. "We will show them they should securely delete all data, a process called 'wiping' the hard disk," Larson said. This will be especially helpful to participants planning to dispose of old computers or phones during SRU's E-waste collection program April 25-26.

In the "Smart Phones, Stupid People" booth participants will learn how to secure their smart phones to not give out data unintentionally and protect them from unwanted searches; the "Social Networking" booth will show the perils of using social media, and how to protect personal information on social networking sites, and the "Password" booth will show what constitutes a strong password.

Other stops at the fair will be "Are You Backed Up?, which will show the proper way to back up critical data, including backing up data in the cloud and test restoration of backed up data; "Viruses and Malware" will provide information about viruses and malware and show how to protect against them; and "Do you use protection?" will offer advice on how and why to encrypt data.

A "Before and After Using Public PCs and WiFis" booth will offer information on keeping information safe when using a publicly available PC and WiFi hotspot.

The event will include a sponsors' booths and SRU participants may take a pre-test to determine their knowledge of cyber security issues, and a post-test to be entered into the drawing for the door prizes that include a Dell Laptop, a Kindle Fire HD, Encryption software, $50 Pirates Gift Card, USB drives and gift cards from local merchants.

The fair is being sponsored by SRU's computer science department and Information and Administrative Technology Services, along with Dell, Armstrong, Walmart of Grove City, East- Tec and others. Treats will be provided by The Grove.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.