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"Caught in the Act" Raising Student Awareness of Safe Computing Practices

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Abstract

In the past three years, computer security incidents at higher education institutions have increased tremendously, and the University of Buffalo (UB) is no exception. Students have lost UB IT account access because their personal computers were not secured and had been compromised by viruses and worms. The recording industry's legal prosecution of students who illegally download music is another significant concern. Students need to be aware of safe, secure, and legal computing and Internet practices. Some students use the Internet in ways that expose them to harassment, abuse, and possible crime, and others use it in ways that are self-destructive. Our obligation as educators is to give students the information they need to thrive in this technological environment, and to do it in ways that capture and hold their attention. Having found that our attempts to educate students on safe computing practices through online documentation, Spectrum articles, back-to-school presentations, TechTools CD distribution, and help desk consultation were insufficient, we sought a means to reach through appealing to their media-rich learning style.

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