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March 13, 2019 11:06 AM

Community workshops focus on cybercrime

Keeping seniors cybersafe was the focus of a new workshop held at the John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo on March 9. Hosted in partnership between Conestoga, Crime Stoppers and Your Neighbourhood Credit Union in support of Fraud Prevention Month, the interactive workshop provided participants with tips on how to avoid being the target of cybercrime.

Conestoga College - Seniors Cyber Workshop March 2019.JPG
Applied Computer Science & Information Technology students hosted a seniors' cybersecurity workshop on March 9 in partnership with Your Neighbourhood Credit Union and Crime Stoppers in support of Fraud Prevention Month.

Approximately 30 seniors attended the free 90-minute morning workshop where they learned about various types of cybercrime and common scams. Participants worked through exercises during the session and were also provided with tips to protect themselves online which focused on enabling antivirus software, password dos and don’ts, privacy settings and secure browsing.

According to Global Affairs Canada, cybercrime is generally defined as a criminal offence involving a computer as the object of the crime (hacking, phishing, spamming), or as the tool used to commit a material component of the offence. During the workshop, student Fred Chappuis stressed the impact and cost of cybercrime and the rate at which it is spreading. He shared statistics that indicated cybercrime is expected to cost the world $1 trillion this year alone.

On March 9, students also hosted Protecting Youth in a Cyber Smart World. The next and final workshop in the series, Navigating the Cyber Smart World, is best suited for savvy internet users of all ages. The workshop will provide a deeper understanding of the complex world of cybercrime and how to protect against online fraud. Registration is required. 

“We are very pleased with the participation and support we received from our sponsor, Your Neighbourhood Credit Union, and from Crime Stoppers, as well as from our students and faculty,” said Pejman Salehi, chair, School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology. “The seniors' and youth workshops have given our community’s more vulnerable populations useful tools to stay safe online and provided our students with an opportunity to share their skills and knowledge.”

The students presenting the workshops are drawn from the Computer Programmer/Analyst, Software Engineering Technology, Computer Application Security, and IT Innovation and Design programs, and were supported by faculty from the School of Applied Computer Science and IT, as well as the IT/Cybersecurity project manager from Conestoga’s Centre for Smart Manufacturing and Digital Innovation.

Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology delivers a comprehensive set of programs with an emphasis on experiential and hands-on learning. The School boasts strong connections to local industry, providing project-based learning and work-integrated learning where students solve real-world problems and engage in new technologies. The faculty team maintains strong ties to Waterloo Region’s innovation sector, bringing relevant content to programs.

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