June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computing & Information Technology
22.1379.1 - 22.1379.14
Teaching Computer Security Literacy to Non-Technical StudentsGone are they days when cyber security education was only a concern for the technological elite.In today’s world of pervasive computing, everyone is a target. The volume, sophistication, andeffectiveness of cyber attacks continue to grow and show no signs of abating. At the center ofthis cyber epidemic are college students whom rely on their computers and the Internet morethan any previous generation for their educational, social, and entertainment needs. Yet thesesame students have little knowledge of the threats they face, the potential short-term and long-term consequences of their actions and the context to make informed security decisions. Thispaper outlines our approach to teaching computer security literacy to non-technical students.Educating non-technical students at the university level fills an enormous gap in cyber securityeducation. If offered at all, current security course offerings are often only available to junior orsenior students and require many perquisites of engineering or computer sciences courses. Atthe other end of the spectrum, non-technical students often find computer security advice in theform of a one page top-ten list of computer security best practices containing little to noneexplanation nor context.The focus of this paper is to describe our approach to practical computer security education.The key objective of our approach is not to delve into the technical components of computersecurity. Instead, we bring security context to the computing actions that students alreadyperform on a daily or weekly basis. In this paper we present in detail our teaching philosophy,topics of focus, approaches to engage students in the classroom with purposeful activities andinteractive demonstrations, and how current events are interwoven into the course topics.Although classroom assessment is a component of this course, the real test occurs when thestudents leave the classroom and interact with information technology.Educating students at the university is an important step to combat the larger societal problemthat exists of education all user of information technology about computer security. It is clearthat purely technical solutions cannot and will not be the answer to combat cyber criminals.Instead a unified effort is needed, educating all users of information technology from the youngto the old, technically savvy to the inexperienced. This course aims to fulfill an important pieceof a larger puzzle by providing university students with a new opportunity to explore cybersecurity and how it affects their lives as digital citizens of cyber space.
Idziorek, J., & Tannian, M. F., & Jacobson, D. W. (2011, June), Teaching Computer Security Literacy to Students from Non-Computing Disciplines Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18741
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