iDrive Student Advisory Board: Advocate for Cyber Security & Education
Technology plays a major role in our education. As a student, you probably use at least one, if not several, online accounts for your academic classwork and assignments. To access these online accounts, your school either provides you with a username and password, or your teacher may instruct you to create your own login credentials. Although many students have taken digital citizenship lessons that encourage children and teens to protect online privacy and security by refraining from using personally identifiable information, or PII, in usernames and passwords, we’ve found that in schools across the country, the usernames and passwords used for school-based accounts are often comprised of PII: our school-issued e-mail addresses may be comprised of our real names, and the usernames and passwords for our school-based online accounts might involve our student ID numbers and date of birth. Since this practice directly links student identity to the online programs, apps and platforms, that we use for school, we decided to investigate this issue. Schools aim to be safe, and so we rely on our school technologies to be just as trustworthy and secure. As a result, the school community might overlook the idea the sites, apps and systems that we use in education might be vulnerable to cyber security issues. But recent data shows that education is the third leading target for hackers, and security breaches of schools have doubled in this past year! (Gemalto, 2016) For this reason, the iDrive Student Advisory Board is investigating student data privacy and the practices that put information at risk.
Cyber Security Careers
Now that you know about how cyber security can affect your future as well as the security and privacy of student information in your own school, you might be wondering what you can do to help. First of all, realize that going into cyber security is a viable career choice and a smart move to make: one security advocacy group has predicted that there will be a shortage of 2 million workers in the cyber security field by 2019 (ISACA, 2015). See this as an opportunity for you to join a field where your skills are highly in-demand! Check out the U.S. Department Homeland Security for more information on cyber security job opportunities for students and recent graduates!
Advocate for Cyber Security Education
But before you hop into jobs like security analyst, security manager, or chief information security officer, we suggest gaining experience in high school.
Cyber Security Competitions: First of all, throughout the U.S., schools engage in programs that prepare students to take part in competitions in which team members of high school students pose as real-life IT professionals. These programs involve nationwide competitions and opportunities to receive scholarship money! Check out your school’s cyber security programs and see how you can get your school involved!
Cyber Security Courses: Secondly, taking part in cyber security activities may require some basic understanding of computers. Some schools have AP Computer Science courses and even partnerships with local colleges who offer articulated courses and early college as part of the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. Online programs are also available.
Cyber Security Club: Does your school have a cyber security club? A sanctioned school club is a perfect complement to educational programs. If your school does not have a club or cyber security program, team up with other interested students.
As an iDrive Advisory Board member, you have the power take initiative and propose to your school administrator, a cyber security education program as well as partnerships with an existing nationwide cyber security initiative and organizations. A good place to start is by talking to your school’s computer science or technology teacher for advice and support. After all, every school club needs an advisor.
Take Initiative: Cyber Security Awareness
You may have seen incidents of major security breaches in recent headlines. Criminal enterprise evolves as technology continues to advance. Another step that you can take to raise awareness of the growing importance of cyber security is to create a media-based project. The iDrive PSA Toolkit is full of ideas: For one, a Public Service Announcement, or PSA, is short–just 30-60 seconds in length–short enough to share on Instagram or other social media app.
Do you enjoy filmmaking? Perhaps you could make an attention-grabbing, brief dramatization showing students who are unable to take out a college loan because their identity was stolen.
Feeling creative? You could combine your designs and research skills and produce an infographic with statistics about security breaches and the increasing need for people in the cybersecurity field. Like this one here.here.
Get political! HR 2184 is the Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act of 2017; a bill that amends the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 to require the program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Homeland Security to extend scholarships to students pursuing the cybersecurity field. This legislation opens up new possibilities for teens like you! What is your state or local government doing to support cyber security education? Consider advocating for legislation to boost college and career opportunities in your region! iDrive is no stranger to Capitol Hill or the White House! You can make an impact on our nation, too.
Inspire teens across the nation with your Cyber Security initiative! Submit your video, infographic or your story to the iDrive Student Advisory Board!
November: Sneak Peek
In October, Agents everywhere raised awareness to prevent and address cyber bullying. What’s coming in November? Here’s a sneak peek!
Today’s news headlines feature tragic and troubling events such as youth taking extreme measure due to bullying; racial, religious and ethnic intolerance; declining teen mental health. As the iDrive Student Advisory Board, we want the world to know that our future is not all gloom-and-doom! We have the power to impact tomorrow by affecting positive change today. That’s why we, as the iDrive community, are highlighting two observance days recognized worldwide: World Kindness Day and International Day for Tolerance.
World Kindness Day is November 13th: Every day is a new opportunity to spread kindness, but on this day, you can unite with people from around the world to show simple acts of kindness in your communities both online and offline! You never know what a small act of kindness can do, and you never know how amazing the effects of a planned-out act of kindness can be.
Speaking of kindness, the International Day of Tolerance is on November 16th. In a world where intolerance leads to expressions of hate, division, and war, you have the opportunity to unite with diverse people to show that we are all different, yet we are all the same! We hope you join us in spreading a message of inclusivity and open-mindedness.
Are you interested in starting a movement with us in November?
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See also –> How to Be a Social Media Champion