#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Increasing security in a digital world

October is the month of both Halloween and keeping computers safe. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website describes National Cybersecurity Awareness Month as “a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.”

With people using laptops, phones and computers on a daily basis, there’s always a risk of lost information when putting in passwords and personal information.

“I think that not enough people care about cybersecurity because they just don’t know,” said Andrew Oborn, a senior studying computer information technology.

He explained it’s very important to bring awareness to students so they don’t fall prey to hackers and viruses.

The BYU-Idaho Security Operations Center is located in the STC 342.

“The idea behind a SOC, not just here but anywhere, is to monitor network traffic and identify threats, and then respond to those threats appropriately,” Oborn said

Oborn advised students to not use the same password for everything. He also reminded students that anything they put online can be seen by anyone. Information can be found anywhere, meaning your own social network can be used against you.

Hackers do this with a technique called social engineering. The definition of social engineering is using social networks against individuals. Oborn provided an example of a scammer calling and pretending to be a family member and asking for money.

“I’ve been working for a couple of different companies, and a couple of them have lost close to $60k due to social engineering attacks,” said Russell Barnum, a senior studying computer information technology.

Barnum recommends setting up two-factor authentication to prevent scammers from receiving information. Two-factor authentication means that if a login is used on one device, a notification is sent to a phone to double-check that the login is accurate.

Oborn suggested that students attend the Cybersecurity Society on campus in STC 347 on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. to learn more about the topic.

“Cybersecurity is something that’s going to be important no matter where you are, or what you’re doing,” Oborn said.

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