Do you know if it’s legal to use your neighbor’s WIFI without permission? Do you know what a firewall is and if you should have one or not? At Bullis, Mr. Coburn can answer those questions for you - in his new class, CyberSecurity.
This is a new class at Bullis, and there are 12 students now learning about topics such as networking and communication, operating systems and the ethical and legal concepts in the cyber world.
Mr. Colburn explains, “The goal of the class is to be able to better understand the internet of things (IOT) and what each student can do to better secure their computer and networks they are interacting with.
One of the most useful exercises happened on the first day, when the class was asked to run a scan on their computers to see who had a virus. While the majority of the Bullis population actually have viruses on their computers, (Mr. Angelo sees 6-7 kids a week who need to get them off) no one in the Cyber Security class did. Mr. Angelo says that most kids download viruses because they are not paying attention. These viruses can take a while to detect, and even Macs can get them.
This started a discussion that helps students learn more about how to protect themselves and their electronics. Samantha Durham (‘18) finds the class fascinating, “I am learning about how the internet and computers work - not so much how we use them, but how they “think”’. Many people do not realize how much information they computers hold and share. This class helps students understand this.
The field of cybersecurity is growing as we depend more and more on computers. The University of Maryland offers two Bachelor’s degrees, Computer Networks and Cybersecurity
and Cybersecurity Management and Policy. This shows there is a need for more people to help run, maintain and design computer systems as well as make them safe.
Cybersecurity goes beyond viruses on computers. LinkedIn, a networking company, was hacked in 2012 and they hackers sold over 117 million people’s identities. In 2017 Chipotle was hacked by people phishing millions of credit card numbers.
Anyone can be hacked or compromised, but at Bullis a small number of students are learning how to make a difference and hopefully protect us all.