Computer science students teach how to protect data and passwords

Written by: 
Bruno Maynez
The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, Thursday, March 29, 2018

Facebook recently suffered the biggest hack in its history, affecting over 50 million users. Aware of these concerns for security, computer science students at BYU-Hawaii presented tips to protect social media accounts and personal data.

DJ Krishnavelu, a freshman from India studying information technology said, “I know Facebook is handling our privacy, but it is still not safe. Hackers can easily break into anyone’s Facebook account and access their information. To my understanding, I have seen people who are smart and can break into anyone’s accounts to steal any information.”

Recommending tips for additional social media security, Krishnavelu said, “Do not write personal information on any website or even on sticky notes. Don’t share personal information to anyone you don’t know. If you receive random emails or links, don’t click on those. There could be viruses and malware. Please don't even open it, just delete it.”

Jeremy Malaluan, a senior from the Philippines majoring in IT said, “It’s a little alarming. If you have Facebook payments and you put your financial information, it’s not safe.”

Malaluan said his background with IT has familiarized him to security measures. He explained he uses an app called LastPass, an app which generates passwords for users. “It’s basically a vault of complicated passwords. You can use it for social media accounts. I feel LastPass is reliable because many IT professionals and developers use the app. It’s adding another element to your passwords, making it more difficult for hackers to break in.

“If your password is easy to guess, hackers have a higher probability of getting in,” Malaluan said. He mentioned how it is the user’s responsibility to update and keep track of passwords and accounts. Malaluan also said keeping a watchful eye on bank accounts is crucial to protecting financial information.

Yusheng Xu, a sophomore from China majoring in computer science, said, “I guess everyone's concern are the hidden profile and posts. If there is something that you don't want someone else to know, just don't put it in your profile.”

All three recommend to change passwords often and update all software. Updates add security to apps and data.

Theorizing on how hackers can steal information, Krishnavelu said, “People can create fake websites that may look like originals. When people try to login using their username and passwords, their information is gathered through some kind of software like Wireshark.”

Xu said, “That’s what hackers do; look for major software bugs to break into. The most serious data is your password and bank account information. Since most people use one password on every website, they get hacked on different sites.”

Both Xu and Malaluan agreed hackers may use stolen data to sell to companies, post viruses, or withdraw money out of bank accounts connected to social media.

Date Published: 
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Last Edited: 
Thursday, October 11, 2018