Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity Education: Preventing the next cyber-attack before it happens
Hacking the Hackers Back through Sustainable Education
On my blog, www.bitsnbytes.us.com, I post weekly about various pressing cybersecurity topics, including Snapchat security, activism and safety, blockchain, and cryptography. This blog is shared through all of BNBCE's social media avenues, as well as with partnering school and organizations.
First video I shared with my first partnering school featuring 5 different pertinent cybersecurity tips for the students to remember, and engaging the students directly.
For Digital Learning Day 2017, I shared this video with my partnering school and launched an all-day campaign for the students to sign an online pledge to constantly learn about online safety and practice these skills. We got over 500 pledges, and followed up on social media with the #DLD2017 to see how schools were taking action.
Working with children from my first partnering elementary school through my app that was designed to help facilitate cybersecurity education in classrooms. Teaching about phishing, digital citizenship, social engineering, and their online presence.
Organized 2 workshops at senior homes (30 attendees each) in order to increase senior competency in digital safety, and speak out about protection against viruses, phishing scams, cellphone scams, and resources available in regards to loss, identity theft, and detecting scams.
Partnering with IBM Security in order to bring Cybersecurity education to 40 young women in the Chicago Public School (CPS) district in the city of Chicago. With women only representing 11% of the cyber industry, my education workshops act as a catalyst for the girls to realize their passions just as I did mine.
Presenting the work of Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity Education at Stanford University as a 2017 she++ #include fellow, during my freshman year of high school.
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Eligibility: Date of Birth
June 13, 2002
Where are you located:
Illinois: (Deerfield) 60015, (Sugar Grove) 60554, Schaumburg (60173), Chicago City (60606) | Indiana: West Lafayette (47906)| California: Stanford (94305), Sacramento (94203), Palo Alto (94020) | New Jersey: Hillsborough Township (08821) |New York: NYC (10001)
However, since my project consists of a blog and online curriculum building with education platforms like Discovery Education, the impact on the Internet is highly distributed!
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
Cybersecurity is a top priority for corporations worldwide as sophisticated hacking techniques send malicious payloads into machinery every day. By 2022, our world is poised to lose $8 trillion from attacks. However, I believe if a “white-hat” generation is cultivated now, then the money saved will be available as wealth for them. Beyond the material benefits, these youth are assured their privacy protected through awareness. A peaceful society is one with security, where citizens know how to protect their data and mitigate crime online. Daily, our national infrastructure, corporations, and consumers experience over 1 million cyber-attacks. Humans are the weakest link, so by enforcing positive skills when the youngest citizens are just developing their digital habits, they can become smarter adults. My work will be instrumental to make countries resilient to cyberwar and interference.
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
In the next 5 years, businesses are set to lose $8 trillion due to cybercrime, w/ over 1 million attacks a day. No one human can be the weak link. It has become my duty to share my energy and create a synergy for this cause. Growing up, I also witnessed recklessness on social media regularly, having personal experience with cyberbullying and now was seeing a rise in hacking and I realized that there was no place for ignorance in the cyber-world.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
I am the founder/CEO of BNBCE (www.bitsnbytes.us.com), a nonprofit dedicated to educating and equipping citizens with the cybersecurity skills needed to help prevent future cyber-attacks in an age of real-time connectivity and con-artistry. Through interactive modules, animated videos, research-based blogs, social media (@GuruDetective), & engaging workshops delivered to community organizations, BNBCE spreads awareness about complex issues including password discipline, social engineering, privacy, digital identity, cloud security, and more; all in order to foster a generation of educated and empowered digital masters. She produces video-tutorials, researches cyber-threats, manages blog/social media, and oversees partnerships with education and publishing organizations to drive impact at schools, and corporate events. Through advocacy and fostering 20+ national & international partnerships with companies like IBM, educational platforms like Discovery Education and TEDed, and over 18 school districts and nonprofit organizations nationwide, I strive to create a worldwide synergy around user-end awareness and personal risk-management in information security for all citizens.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When I partner with organizations, I ask them for what kind of emphasis have they already placed on security, what does their crowd already know, what is the most important theme they want emphasized, to gauge the lesson intensity and tailor the services for their knowledge level and lifestyle. I make videos, have written over 40 researched blog posts for my partnering orgs, post regularly on social media about daily news and tips, speak at large-scale events, and develop videos, depending on what would make the most impact on the audience. Beginning in my community, I have expanded to organizations/schools throughout North and Central-South Illinois, New Jersey, and Stanford University in California. I also have international partnerships in England and Australia, while my website is distributed on social media, endorsed by professionals worldwide. The communities are my responsibility.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Classrooms become empowered to secure their online behavior with safe habits taught in workshops by a young person. On annual Digital Learning Day, I have sent out open videos to her partners and 500 students yearly have pledges to practice digital citizenship every day and take responsibility for their safe media movement. I also routinely unite new writers on her blog to share new topics including data privacy and Blockchain, which educators proceed to share with their classrooms. Vulnerable populations can no longer be vulnerable, and my youth movement strives to strengthen and support.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
I founded BNBCE 20 months ago, yet has impacted at least 100,000 lives internationally, averaging 4,000 views per blog. I even forged a curriculum partnership with Discovery Education, a worldwide platform utilized by 50 million students and 4.5 million educators. I have caused positive disruption, as surveyed data displayed educators saw a trending increase in youth “creating a safe online presence” within months of partnership. Also, they saw a significant increase in students feel reminded weekly, even after the program, on how to act respectfully & safely share information. At the “phishing” station, a 6th grader called me, recalling a story about emailing his 3rd grade teacher. Thinking she responded, he signed into his account. Attending my event, he and his 150 peers first learned the definition to phishing and how to react.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
I am going to be engineering a remote learning resource platform to make lessons easily accessible by visiting my webpage. I want to continue working alongside districts to imbed cyber into student curriculum for 20 minutes daily. My role will involve leadership, but I will work on the backend with partnerships to create tutorials and app platforms to put concepts into action expanding to more communities. I will assess topics where education is most necessary and the avenue of delivery that has been most successful based on surveys and reviews. I am also working to expand my movement internationally and create an army of ‘while hats’ on this planet in this age of connectivity & con artistry, reducing anticipated economic damages.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
With T-Mobile's worldwide presence across generations, I, as a teen, will have an exceptional bandwidth to garner strong support for her cause, which will break the stigma around personal security, shape tomorrow’s leaders, & empower users to trust social media and technology for innovation. My outreach will broaden over wider geographical regions locally & internationally with T-Mobile's funding, which will also help raise matching corporate sponsorship and involve grassroots community campaigns. With world-class training, I will be able to leverage my new skillset to impact her training modules & increase education in classrooms worldwide.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
My targets could not be reached without the help and support of many professionals in both the cyber and education fields. For my new project called “Anecdotes,” my cybersecurity professional network, sending in their perspectives on the importance and their experience in the field. I have collaborated with technology coordinators, educators, and principals of schools to help turn their digital natives into digital citizens. For promotion of my message and projects, I connect with several school superintendents and expand my network to be their partner to share their skills on projects. I also foster over 20 partnerships now, seen at http://www.bitsnbytes.us.com/partnerships/, leading communication with them. Mentorship from T-Mobile will increase bandwidth of these projects internationally, help build a strong team of both youth ambassadors nationwide and add to my board of advisors, as well as lead me to effectively raise funding and increase mutualistic partnerships globally by applying learned “big picture” perspectives from mentorship. I also desire to get BNBCE on platforms with greater bandwidth like TechCrunch and Forbes, while gaining an international presence!
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Self-identify race, ethnicity, or origin: (5)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community
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