Cybersecurity

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11-Year-Old Changes Florida's Presidential Vote Results At A Hacker Convention

At the 26th annual DEFCON convention, the kids hacking division received a great deal of attention when an 11 year-old girl was able to successfully hack into a replica of the Florida Secretary of State’s website. BuzzFeed News reports that it took her only 10 minutes to hack the site and change the results of the 2016 presidential vote. The Secretary of State said changing the website does not represent switching actual votes, but experts say the hack reveals security flaws in the system. This could make an interesting topic of discussion if you have a young “hacker in training” at your house.

Cyberattacks May Increase Warn Feds

Cyberattacks against the US are on the rise and have reached a critical point,” said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats recently. Coats identified China, Iran, North Korea and Russia as the biggest threats, saying that they target federal agencies, state and local governments, businesses and even schools every day.

Some Tech Related New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make some tech related New Year’s resolutions this year? Brian Chen, of The New York Times Tech Fix blog has some suggestions of things to add or to start your list. Cybersecurity is his major theme this year and his list includes things like updating your software, reading privacy policies, deleting unnecessary apps that may be monitoring your data or location and ideas for protecting you hardware.

When Should Cybersecurity Education Start?

Educators and government officials met recently to discuss cybersecurity education for elementary and high school students at a conference in Nashville, Tenn. A number in attendance expressed the need for cybersecurity education to begin as early as elementary school to prepare students for possible technology careers as reports of cyberattacks multiple. One of the keynote speakers even went as far as saying, "If you're in high school, it's almost too late." Experts are asking teachers to weave cybersecurity principles into core academic subjects.

4 Reasons Your Child Might Want to Become a Hacker

Did you know that not all “hackers” are criminals? Many organizations are looking for white-hat hackers -- people who break down malicious code -- to help defend against cyberattacks, writes malware researcher Amanda Rousseau in a recent article in Teen Vogue. She offers four reasons why students, especially girls, should consider this career path, including the high demand for these jobs and the opportunity to positively affect the world and make a difference in people’s lives.

Online Predators – Get the Facts

Media stories about online predators make for sensationalized press, playing on parental fears, but how worried should you be? Overall statistics show that unwanted sexual solicitation is down but the most important thing is to arm yourself with facts about the issue and solutions if you suspect your child is, or could become, a victim. Common Sense Media recently took up the topic in an article entitled The Facts about Online Predators Every Parent Should Know. The article outlines the facts and strategies for handling your concerns about online predators.

Would You Pay a Ransom for Your Data?

A recent survey administered by Carbon Black looks at consumers’ responses to ransomware, and you may find the results surprising. The study found that if hacked, 52% of consumers would shell out a ransom for their data, and 12% would pay $500 or more. It was also found that consumers are less trusting of retailers with their data than they are of banks and health care providers. Furthermore, the majority of consumers believe the responsibility is on the individual businesses to keep their data safe, ahead of cybersecurity companies/cybersecurity software vendors, software providers (Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.), and government organizations (FBI, NSA, CIA, etc.).

Tips for Guarding Against Ransomware

A report from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that mobile ransomware attacks increased globally during the first quarter of 2017 by 253%, evidenced by the recent WannaCry attack, and with the US being hit the hardest. Four ways users can better protect themselves are outlined in an article on the TechRepublic site, and includes advice such as doing regular scans on devices to check for infection and never entering personal information into a website that seems at all suspicious. Additional tips for protecting yourself were also recently discussed in an article in the Tech Section of The New York Times entitled How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks.

Web Needs a Rethink Says Inventor

Tim Berners-Lee, who is largely thought of as the creator of the Internet, thinks the World Wide Web needs a bit of a rethink to cut down on spying, cyberbullying and the general nastiness often associated with life online. "How come nasty, mean ideas, seem to have traveled more prevalently than constructive ideas on Twitter sometimes? Is that the way it has been designed? Could Twitter be tweaked?" he asks. He also questions why even though the web gives school children from India, China and Syria the ability to interact with each other, people are broadly parochial, choosing to communicate only with others like themselves.

Web Needs a Rethink Says Inventor

Tim Berners-Lee, who is largely thought of as the creator of the Internet, thinks the World Wide Web needs a bit of a rethink to cut down on spying, cyberbullying and the general nastiness often associated with life online. "How come nasty, mean ideas, seem to have traveled more prevalently than constructive ideas on Twitter sometimes? Is that the way it has been designed? Could Twitter be tweaked?" he asks. He also questions why even though the web gives school children from India, China and Syria the ability to interact with each other, people are broadly parochial, choosing to communicate only with others like themselves.

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