How much privacy do you really have? Can your phone be hacked? Can your printer be accessed to spy on you? Ever wonder how to make your wireless devices more secure?
The 11th annual Cyber Security and Awareness Fair on Oct. 29, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will examine these questions and the internet of things in our daily lives that allow network connectivity, from your Fitbit and coffee maker to your wireless router and home thermostat.
“Every day, people make technology-related decisions that affect their personal security,” says Christopher Laasch, chair of the Cyber Security and Awareness Fair. “Everything in our world is connected to the Internet. With every device, you are opening the door to the entire world and you are vulnerable to being hacked. Our goal is to provide the information everyone needs to know in everyday life to be more aware of what’s going on around them.”
Sessions at the Cyber Security and Awareness Fair will include:
- “Internet of Things: Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes and Why You Should Care”
- “Mobile Security: What Your Phone Is Doing Without Your Knowledge”
- “Hands-On Hacking the Internet of Things,” which will provide tips on how attendees can hack their own devices and how they can secure their technology from being controlled by others.
Comedian Rich Leis will examine the humorous side of cyber security, passwords and hacking scandals, such as those involving the Ashley Madison dating site and Sony emails, among other related events in the news.
More than 40 students will present their research on emerging trends in the field of cyber security, information assurance and forensics via a poster contest. Attendees have the opportunity to help select the poster winners and to earn prizes, including a Galaxy S2 tablet.
Charena Heng, a senior majoring in business administration, became interested in cyber security after reading an article about hacking into a car’s systems.
“I became fascinated with the idea that an object as large as a car can be integrated so well with the Internet and remote access. The idea that someone could take control of the brakes while I’m driving really hit home,” Heng says.
Now a member of the cyber security committee, Heng notes that, “Most people have the misconception that security of the Internet of things is unnecessary, especially for something as small as a toaster or a coffee maker. Yet, when the Web of networks in your home consists of various unsecured devices, your network, home and identity can be compromised. Internet security becomes personal security.”
The fair was designed for people who have no background in cyber security. “We want to appeal to people who have never stepped into the realm of technology and help them become aware that the Internet infuses the world we live in,” Heng says.
“By paying attention to the details and taking some basic steps to secure your connected devices,” adds Laasch, “you will become a less appealing target to hackers, and they will move on to someone else. Learning how to make a strong pass phrase, for example, will save you much and mitigate risk.”