Cybersecurity Fair warns of web threats

Cyrus Nuval
Staff Writer

The annual VCU Cybersecurity Fair was held on Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Oct. 23 to increase awareness of cyber threats and promote computer security and internet safety for students.

Eight companies, including Dell Computers, Cisco Systems, Symantec-Norton Virtual Security and Fishnet Securities, were represented at the event. VCU Technology Services, VCU Libraries and the School of Nursing hosted the fair, which was held at the University Student Commons on Tuesday and at Tompkins-McCaw Library on Wednesday.

Topics discussed during the presentations included tips on computer and mobile device security and how to secure research registries. Presenters advised students against having one password for multiple accounts, to be aware of suspicious URLs when searching the internet and to be suspicious of websites that ask for too much personal information.

“I believe in the public health method of spreading cybersecurity,” said VCU Technology Services information security officer Dan Han. “If we treat the awareness of cyber threats like we treat the awareness of a disease, then maybe more students at VCU will practice safe internet habits and be more cyber-secure.”

Representatives from VCU’s Office of Research, Sophos IT Security, VCU’s University Compliance Office, VCU Technology Services and others presented at the conference.

Cody Moore, a junior environmental science major, said he hopes students who attended the event will learn to be more aware of cyber threats on and off the internet.

“There are people out there who are always ready to take advantage of college students either by attacking us online or using social engineering techniques on us offline,” Moore said. “By asking the right questions online or offline a hacker or a scammer can find everything they need to gain access to our money or even ruin our lives.”

Devante Morris, a junior painting and printmaking major, said he believes cybersecurity is a very important issue that students should take more seriously.

“Almost everything about us can be found online,” Morris said. “Our bank accounts are online, our records are online, our search history is online … when we step into the internet we are opening a door … we need to make sure that the wrong people don’t find that door and break in.”

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