Tag Archives: national security

Data Privacy Day – January 28th

The Top Secret Colonials are promoting a data privacy awareness day on January 28th. Data Privacy Day is meant to help raise the public’s awareness around data security and educate all internet users to be safer online. This day also aims to encourage greater accountability among consumers to better perceive how their information is being shared.

On January 28, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) will host events in Washington, DC and Los Angeles where privacy professionals will explain solutions to current challenges as well as best practices, such as how to recognize cyber intrusions and establishing an incident response plan. NCSA will also hold Twitter chats centered around data privacy in the days leading up to Data Privacy Day.

Data Privacy Tips (from StaySafeOnline.org):

  • Share with Care
    • What you post can last a lifetime: Before posting online think about how it might be perceived now and in the future and who might see it.
    • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.
    • Be aware of what’s being shared: Be aware that when you share a post, picture or video online, you may also be revealing information about others. Be thoughtful when and how you share information about others.
    • Post only about others as you have them post about you: The golden rule applies online as well.
    • Own your online presence: It’s OK to limit who can see your information and what you share. Learn about and use privacy and security settings on your favorite online games, apps and platforms.
  • Personal Information Is Like Money: Value It. Protect It.
    • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information.
    • Get two steps ahead: Switch on two-step verification or multi-factor authentication wherever offered to prevent unauthorized access.
    • Know what’s being collected, who is collecting it and how it will be used: Information about you, such as the games you like to play, what you search for online and where you shop and live, has value ‒ just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. Only use a product or service if the company is open and clearly states how it will use your personal information. If you’re not sure what a business will do with your information, ask your parents. Think twice if an app wants permission to use personal information (like your location) it doesn’t need before you say “OK.”
    • Secure your devices: Use strong passwords or passcodes or touch ID features to lock your devices. Securing your device can help protect your information if your device is lost or stolen and keep prying eyes out.
    • Get savvy about WiFi hotspots: Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure – this means the possibility exists that anyone can see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to it. Think about what you are doing and if you would want another person to see it. If you use public WiFi a lot, think about using a virtual private network (VPN) that provides a more secure WiFi connection.
    • Now you see me, now you don’t: Some stores and other locations look for devices with WiFi or Bluetooth turned on to track your movements while you are within range. Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use, and limit your use of free public wireless networks, which stores and locations can use to track what you do online.
    • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way bad guys get access to your personal information. If it looks weird, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete.




Learn about the Washington Center National Security Seminar in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, September 14th the students who attended The Washington Center’s National Security Program this past summer will give an informative presentation in the Sewall Center International Suite at 3:30 pm.

If you have even the slightest interest in the Washington National Security program, we urge you to make the time to attend. It is an opportunity for you to hear about the program from the student’s perspective!

You will receive one hour of SET credits for attending. Light refreshments will be served.

2015 Data Privacy Day sponsored by CMU

dpdOn Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Carnegie Mellon University is sponsoring an event celebrating National Data Privacy Day.

Data Privacy Day (DPD) is an international effort centered on Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust. Data Privacy Day is an international effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint. For more information, please visit StaySafeOnline.org

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend an exciting seminar on Data Privacy. An event will take place at the Jared L. Cohon University Center on the Carnegie Mellon campus. For more information, please visit http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/privacy-day/2015/#schedule

P.S. RMU students can always earn SET credit for attending 😉

Deadline extended for DHS Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative – Apply by January 9th!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the launch of the 2015 Secretary’s Honors Program Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative. This program is part of the department’s ongoing effort to develop the next generation of cyber talent, and in the coming months, DHS expects to place approximately 75 undergraduate volunteers in cybersecurity-focused assignments at more than 50 locations across the country.

Volunteers who are selected will have a unique opportunity to learn about the DHS cybersecurity mission and to engage in hands-on cybersecurity work related to digital forensics, network diagnostics, incident response, and a variety of other specialties.

Applications will be accepted until December 12, 2014 via USAJOBS.gov. The deadline for applications has been extended to January 9, 2015!

The Washington Center Experience – From a Student’s Perspective

Have you heard of the newest club on campus…. the Top Secret Colonials?  Their mission is to promote education in cyber security. This group does a variety of fundraisers to raise money for the National Security Seminar in Washington, D.C.

How would you like to spend two weeks in D.C. with your fellow classmates and others from colleges across the country learning about our National Security in Information Systems?

Dr. Paullet and 20 of your classmates did just that. In May, these students took the 6 hour trip to D.C. They got to experience a trip of a life time and learned about our country’s National Security. Upon arrival they checked into their dorm-like apartments, became experts on utilizing the metro, and became friends with other students across the country.

They were privy to a variety of national security information that they otherwise would never have learned. They had to swear to not publicize the information received on social media. They toured the FBI building and got to ask federal agents a variety of cyber security and information systems questions. They visited the ICANN building where they had another question and answer session with those at the top. They were able to learn and ask point blank questions of the presenter, Dr. Fair, in reference to the FATA region and the utilization of drones in military missions. How about a chance to tour the Chinese embassy and ask questions right after the cyber attacks on major Pittsburgh companies?  Yes, they had a chance to do that, too!

A trip to the FISA court gave them the opportunity to speak to FISA Judge Reggie Walton, who, by the way, is from Pittsburgh, PA. They asked questions about recent cases and then were able to tour the judge’s chambers. The list of speakers each day was extraordinary. There were dignitaries, professors, lawyers from the U.S. Marshall’s Office, the Department of Justice, Guantanamo Bay, the Treasury Department and a non-profit organization for educating children in Pakistan. Each speaker talked about how cyber law(s) and information systems security is of the utmost importance in each of the specific federal sectors that they work in.

It wasn’t all work; there was time to explore downtown D.C. and see the city that seems to never sleep, and enjoy great restaurants and shop for awesome souvenirs. They were able to tour a number of our nation’s national monuments, where they had time to explore and take many pictures.

If you have ever thought about a job with the federal government, the students were able to speak and learn about the career paths of those that have served in our Armed Forces and have gone on to other federal and contract positions for our government.

The next National Security Seminar is just around the corner in May. The topics for next year are: Week 1- Inside the Defense and Intelligence Community and Week 2 – Negotiating Global Challenges.

So for an extraordinary adventure that you will never forget …… don’t delay, contact Dr. Paullet if you are interested in the National Security Seminars and earning college credits.

The Washington Center names RMU Academic Seminar University of the Year

Robert Morris University has been named the 2014 Academic Seminar University of the Year by the prestigious Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

Recently, a group of thirty-two RMU cyber forensics and information security students traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in The Washington Center’s academic seminar program. The seminar was based on issues of National Security and gave the students an opportunity to learn from leading national security experts. As well as this being an excellent learning opportunity, this served as an opportunity for networking with national security leaders.


The Washington Center chose Robert Morris University as its academic seminar of the year based on many factors; some factors being the Top Secret Colonials fundraising efforts, preparation for the trip, and devotion of the students and faculty regarding the seminar itself.

The students were lucky to have been at the seminar in D.C. while there was extreme information security controversy happening here in Pittsburgh, PA. The group happened to be visiting the Chinese Embassy just hours after it was announced that the U.S. government filed criminal charges of cyber espionage against Chinese officials for allegedly having hacked some of Pittsburgh’s foremost industrial providers including Alcoa, Westinghouse, and U.S. Steel.

Many students having participated in the trip have become advocates for the importance of this seminar, as well as their student-run organization, Top Secret Colonials. TSC secretary, Jake Pancari, stated, “The seminar is a life changing opportunity, something I never could have experienced by just going to class all the time. We witnessed history in the making while we were there, and I got to meet so many influential people working in DC. It’s easily one of the best decisions I’ve made in my time at RMU.”