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Brahma Tech Students Attend Cyber Security Fair

By Canan Tasci, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Staff Writer

POMONA - When it comes to technology - ignorance will hurt you.

That was one of the messages Thursday at Cal Poly Pomona's seventh annual Cyber Security Fair.


"Even if you have your home network secured, within less than a minute, (hackers) can get in there and get your usernames and passwords from the different sites you use," said Christopher Laasch, Cal Poly's information technology administrator for student affairs information and technology services.


The fair at the Bronco Student Center included workshops with hands-on demonstrations as well as a vendor fair, which included dozens of experts showcasing products.


In the "Home Wireless Security" workshop, attendees got a chance to see in real time how easy it is to view content and access personal information from a computer user who is not connected to a secure network.


And for those social media types, the "What Happens in Vegas Stays on Facebook" workshop educated users that sharing personal information - including pictures and games - provides an abundance of information to advertisers, employers, and, of course, hackers.


"For a lot of our younger generation, their whole life is digital," said Anna Carlin, Cal Poly professor in the college of business administration. "They have to think about that as they're going to employers where a vast majority of them are doing Google searches on their name to see what comes up."


The fair is in recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a public awareness campaign that encourages people to protect their computers.


"Technology is so far in advance that those of us trying to protect every one else is trying to keep up," said Jorge Lima, Southern California account manager for McAfee, a security technology company.


Students from Diamond Bar High School's technology academy were among the hundreds of people who attended the fair.


"With the rise of technology growing so fast in just a half a century and knowing all the things you can do with it - it's pretty limitless," said Brian Zhu, 10th grader at Diamond Bar High.


Although just a teenager, Alice Jin is not naive to know the Internet can be used.


"It is always important to be safe while using the Internet," said Jin, a Diamond Bar High freshman. "There is going to be different people trying to get information off your Facebook file, so you really have to protect yourself."