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UIS emphasizes importance of cyber security

In our ever growing, technologically based society, it is extremely important for individuals to increase their awareness of how to stay safe online. For this reason, October has been deemed as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, this year marks the 10th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

The internet is incorporated into many, if not all, individual’s lives in some way. It is an extremely helpful tool within today’s society. However, many individuals are unaware of the dangers that can lurk within the worldwide web if the proper precautions are not taken.

Over the course of the month, UIS put on several workshops to shine a light on the importance of cyber security. This is the third year that UIS has been a champion in this cause, meaning the University sets aside time that is dedicated to enlightening individuals about this cause.

“[Cyber awareness] affects everybody. I can only think of a few people that this really doesn’t touch and that’s only because hopefully their parents are not letting them online yet,” said Clayton Bellot, security analysis at UIS.

Bellot led the workshops and focused on topics such as using strong passwords and being aware of what is going on when online.

“Knowing how impractical it is to unplug, just be smart about [using the internet]. When you go to Panera or McDonald’s or wherever offers free public WiFi, be smart about what you are doing,” said Bellot. “You don’t go and check your bank account. You don’t know who else is sharing that connection.”

To conclude the month, “Code 2600” was available for screening. The film focuses on the impact of technology on individuals’ privacy and security. According to code2600.com, the film “is a provocative wake-up call for a society caught in the grips of a global technology takeover.”

UIS plans to continue to increase awareness on cyber security each year, in October. The hope is that as the program grows and through better advertising, more individuals will attend workshops each year.

In an attempt to further educate individuals throughout the year, content about cyber awareness was added to the digital signs around campus, as well as the campus channel.

For more tips on how to stay safe online, as well as a list of all champions in this program, visit http://staysafeonline.org/.

If you have other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Technology Support Center at techsupport@uis.edu or 217-206-6000

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