Tulsa Tech Students Showcase Ways To Stay Safe Online

It is one of the scariest headlines you can see in the news, “Data Breach”, and over the past few years, it’s become a constant fear for Americans. An article in Forbes earlier this summer showed 2019 was the worst year on record, with more than four billion records stolen, and this is just the large breaches. Not included in that number are the little ways you can be victimized without even realizing it.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and for nearly a decade, our Cyber Security/Forensics students have hosted a scary Cyber Security Spook House at the Riverside Campus to showcase the dangers that lurk on the internet.

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“In the past we have looked at your car key fobs,” Don Pipkin, Instructor of Cyber Security/Forensics said. “We were able to show with certain software you can capture the signal and then use a hacking system to unlock your car. No doubt this is more frightening than any other spook house.”

Each year, students develop the topics and displays that interest them, and present how patrons of the Spook House can keep themselves safe online. This year’s display focuses on everything from trusting the cloud to data loss prevention.

“This year we will have eight different booths open to the public,” Pipkin said. “The Spook House is open the last week of the month from 8 to 10:30 am, noon to 2:30 pm, as well as 5 – 7 pm on Thursday inside Building A. We are excited to have people stop by and see what our students have put together.”

For Aaron Knight and Nathan Frazer, the opportunity to help educate people while having fun was a unique challenge. They took part in last year’s Spook House. Knight showed people how to stay safe on their mobile devices, while Frazer focused on wireless security, especially the free Wi‐Fi available at coffee shops and other establishments.

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“Everywhere we go there are wireless access points,” said Frazer, a second‐year Cyber Security/Forensics student. “I learned on open networks it is really easy to intercept traffic, and anyone with malicious intent can take advantage of innocent bystanders.”

The cyber security industry is growing rapidly across the United States. According to a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of jobs is expected to grow by 20 percent over the next 10 years in Oklahoma, and more than 30 percent nationwide. With such a bright future, many people are turning to computer‐based careers. The Spook House is also about helping students share ideas with people who may not understand internet jargon.

“Students have to do presentations to people and be able to explain and solve a complex problem,” Pipkin said. “This teaches them to shorten topics to things that they can explain in five minutes.”

Helping students get the skills they need to enter the workforce is at the heart of Tulsa Tech’s vision for the last 54 years. Offering five industry‐recognized certificates upon graduation, the Cyber Security/Forensics program is open to both high school and adult students.

“My one piece of advice to anyone thinking about getting into the I.T. industry would be don’t get intimidated,” Frazier said. “Feed your curiosity, dive into things and don’t get overwhelmed. Those are the keys to dealing with technology.”

If you’re currently looking for exciting classes to expand your computer knowledge, or want to learn a new skill, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918‐828‐5000 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.

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