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Upcoming Cybersecurity Awareness Fair teaches students to be safe online

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Courtesy Tomasz Mikołajczyk | The Daily Wildcat

Cyber security poses a big threat to students and university employees. The UA maintains a database of recent cyber threats being monitored by IT staff.

 The University of Arizona will be hosting the Cybersecurity Awareness Fair on Oct. 15 between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Ballroom in the Student Union Memorial Center. Students that attend will learn about cybersecurity and the importance of knowing how to protect themselves online.  

“Our cybersecurity awareness event coincides with the national cybersecurity awareness month, which is actually for the entire month of October, and it really is to bring awareness,” said Rhonda Bartz-Royse, communications and marketing specialist for the UA Information Security Office.

According to Bartz-Royse, people will learn how to spot phishing attempts in emails and how to create safe and strong passwords to protect personal information. There will be educational opportunities for learning about cybersecurity and traveling. Lastly, there will be tips for IT professionals and students that are studying for that field. 

There will be 12 booths around the event with a different activity at each booth. One booth will be doing a "spin the wheel" activity while another will be discussing risks that people take each day with cybersecurity. There will be vendors talking about what people can look for in safe networks. 

UA South and the Eller College of Management will be in attendance with information about their cybersecurity courses that they offer each semester. 

“Identity theft is a problem whether they are on campus or not because the simplest thing of someone looking over your shoulder and seeing what password you are typing in could be used in a different way,” Bartz-Royse said. “Identity theft can be detrimental potentially.” 

RELATED: UA's Cyber Operations program designated as one of the best in the nation

The UA cybersecurity club CyberCats will be represented at the fair as well. They will have a booth with games and information available for attendees. According to president of the club, cybersecurity graduate student Jason Pototsky, the club focuses on raising awareness for issues with cybersecurity. 

“Everybody is aware of ransomware and everybody is aware of different aspects of cybersecurity, but they don’t really understand,” Pototsky said. 

Pototsky claimed that cybersecurity is not current students’ top priority, but after this event it could be.  

“In the information security framework, [the public is] always going to be the weakest link, so the more knowledge you have, the stronger that chain is going to be,” Pototsky said.  

CyberCats will be putting on a game called "Capture the Flag." The object of the game is for individuals to try to hack a website that is laid out before them. CyberCats has a team that competes in capture the flag competitions. The team will be in attendance to recruit individuals interested in the game and to teach attendees how to play. 

“Anything that has competition tends to bring out people that normally wouldn’t participate,” Pototsky said.” “It gives us a chance to expand our own knowledge and capabilities and show it to a greater group of individuals.”


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Jason Pototsky he/him President of Cybercats  520-440-9036

Rhonda Bart-Royse she/her rroyse@email.arizona.edu


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