SRU’s Oct. 29 Cyber Security Fair offers online safety tips


cyber security

Oct. 8, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - You hear the stories everyday: someone's identity is stolen leaving them with thousands of dollars of debt; or someone sends a check to an agency or person with the promise of earning great returns, only to discover no such person or organization exits; or someone gives out their banking information to have a raffle prize directly deposited, only to find that their account has been raided.

Slippery Rock University students enrolled in "Practical Computer Security" want to help you to avoid becoming such a victim. As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, they are hosting a Cyber Security Fair Oct. 29 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom where they will share strategies for minimizing cyber theft, fraud and harassment.

Conferences, lectures and training will be presented to teach cyber security in many aspects of connectivity, including email, social media, smart phones, privacy and passwords.

steve larson


Stephen Larson, SRU assistant professor of computer science, said connectivity offers positive influences and new risks. Information presented at the Cyber Fair is intended to engage and educate Internet users and increase resiliency in the event of a cyber incident, he said.

He said the biggest threats to students are being hacked and having their identity stolen.

"We now live in a world that is more connected than ever before," Larson said. "The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone's daily life, whether we realize it or not. We connect with friends and family, conduct business and banking online and rely on many services, like transportation and electricity, that are supported with online systems."

He said technology has spearheaded advancements in health care, education, business, music, government and many other industries, but that comes with a price.

"As technology advances, our lives become easier and more connected," he said. "However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse. No country, industry, community or individual is immune to cyber risks."

While individuals should work to secure their own technology through behavior, cyber security applies to companies, universities, states and the nation.

"As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy," he said. "As individuals, cyber security risks can threaten our finances, identity and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cyber security is one of our country's most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play - cyber security is a shared responsibility."

The fair will include topical booths. They include:

• Gone Phishing: Participants will learn how to recognize phishing emails and what to do when they receive one.

• Don't Forget to Wipe: Participants will learn how to securely delete all data, a process called "wiping," before disposing a computer.

• Smart Phones, Stupid People: Participants will learn how to secure their smart phones to not give out data unintentionally.

• Social Media: Participants will learn the perils of using social media and how to protect their personal information on social networking sites.

• P@ssword: Participants will learn about viruses and malware, and how to protect against them.

• Are You Backed Up? Participants will learn the proper way to back up their critical data and test the restoration of backed up data.

• Do You Use Protection? Participants will learn how to keep their privacy and personal information safe on the Internet.

Before and After Using Public PCs and Wi-Fi Hotspots: Participants will learn how to keep their information safe when using a publically available PC and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Participants do not have to sign up. To be included in the drawing for door prizes - the grand prize is a laptop - attendees must participate in a pre- and post-visit test.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |