Be Cyber Smart Like California’s CyberStart Scholars

August 9, 2023 – California’s high school students have shown their smarts in the 2023 CyberStart America challenge. The free, online program aims to nurture and empower the next generation of cybersecurity experts by building their skills and offering access to cybersecurity training and certifications with the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. During the 2022-23 cycle, California performed outstandingly, with 485 Semifinalists and 329 Scholars. Best of all, California led the nation with 28 Scholars with Honors, who earned the GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies Certification and were offered further scholarship and internship opportunities.  

However, everyone can help to create a safer digital environment. As students gear up to head back to school, it’s a great time to boost your cyber safety. Here are some back-to-school cybersecurity tips to keep you safe online: 

  • Strong Passwords: Create strong and unique passwords for each online account, incorporating a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. 
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Add an extra layer of protection to online accounts by enabling 2FA wherever possible. 
  • Beware of Phishing Attempts: Educate students and parents about phishing scams, urging them to be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments.  
  • Keep Devices Updated: Regularly update devices and software to install critical security updates that protect against the latest vulnerabilities. 
  • Secure Social Media Settings: Adjust privacy settings on social media platforms to control what information is visible to the public. 
  • Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi: Avoid accessing sensitive information while connected to public Wi-Fi networks and consider using a VPN. 
  • Think Before Sharing: Encourage students to think twice before sharing anything online. 
  • Sign Up for CyberStart America 2024: Register your interest and encourage students to participate in the next round of games in October.