During my high school days, we had what was called an Information Technology (I.T.) class. It was not a general computer education class.
The class involved primarily Microsoft Office, programming, and other information about how computer hardware works.
I won’t criticize the school’s coverage of Microsoft Office because it is essential, however, they taught us how hard disk drives operate internally, technical jargons, and more intricate details about computer hardware.
That is all valuable knowledge, but every good school system has to prioritize topics appropriately. There was virtually no education on malware or phishing. This led to widespread disaster, which unfortunately still hasn’t been resolved.
Why Malware And Phishing Must Be Included In Computer Education
Malware causes loss of data and damage to I.T. systems which are costly to the economy, not to mention inconvenient. Judging based on the overwhelming number of malware cases i’ve seen, it would be very helpful if everyone at least got a little primer on how to avoid it.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information by tricking people into providing it, and those who didn’t receive adequate computer education are hit hardest by it.
Phishing can range from the theft of Facebook login details to the robbery of your bank account, and even identity theft. Computer education courses need to cover all of these.
Examples of phishing include:
1. Fake websites that pretend to be popular social media services such as Facebook. They look exactly like Facebook and will let you log in, then store your login details to spam your friends later. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to.
2. E-mails sent out to people claiming that they need to update their account information at their bank or other financial institutions. They will try to get you to reply with sensitive information, fill out a form, or call them.
This enables them to access your bank account and withdraw money from it. They may also use it to gain control of it and make purchases at your expense (identity thieves especially do this).
Why Teach Students About Phishing?
Everyone needs to be taught about phishing because we are all exposed to it, and today’s high school computer education courses fails to do so, which is why most people appear to know very little about it.
The issue is ballooning out of control: 14% of all complaints to the Consumer Sentinel Network pertained to identity theft.
Modern Technology May Be Intensify Identity Theft
If you thought that smartphones carry too much sensitive information as they are now, wait until Apple Pay and the rest of the pay-by-phone services are rolled out on iOS and Android.
Your phone will soon be a key to your financial accounts. The key concern here is the lack of security in today’s smartphone technology (insecure software).