Have you ever received repeated cell phone calls from an unknown number? Or opened a text message offering an update to a phone app you don't even use? These are just a few of the situations that should raise security red flags, according to computer science and information technology students at the prestigious Information Systems and Internet Security (ISIS) Lab at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, the students offer tips on how they keep their own personal information safe and dodge traps set by clever hackers.
The students, a mix of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidates, are the masterminds behind Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW), the most comprehensive set of challenges for elite computer science students. On October 29, more than 300 finalists from across the continental United States will compete for prizes and scholarships on the NYU-Poly Brooklyn campus by solving the kinds of simulated security crises likely to emerge in an increasingly wired world.
The young white hat hackers – so named because they will graduate to protect institutions from the bad, black-hatted hackers’ cyber incursions – offer the following advice for keeping cell phones and smart phones safe:
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When using social networking sites from your phone, skip the native apps — which know far more about your life than web browsers ever could — and access the sites through your phone's browser. Also, use a password-protected screen lock to keep your phone secure. —Julian Cohen, Sophomore – Computer Science; Team: Capture the Flag Application Security
About Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 156-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi.