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San Diego Teens Learn How To Be ‘Cyber Defenders’

Evening Edition

Twenty high school students from throughout San Diego County are spending the week learning how to protect themselves — and others — from cybercrime.

The weeklong boot camp is hosted by the Securing Our eCity Foundation, a nonprofit group focused on training the next generation of cyberdefenders.

Chloe Crisostomo, a rising senior at Mira Mesa High School, says the camp is helping prepare her for what she hopes is her future career.

“I’d like to work for an industry to keep the information secure," Crisostomo said. "I’m not much of a hacker, but I know (how to) in order to secure."

Liz Fraumann, executive director of the Securing Our eCity Foundation, says with more than three billion people on the Internet today, teaching kids how to protect against cyber crime is the best line of defense.

“There’s tools, there’s gadgets, there’s all sorts of things people in the underworld know about and know how to use the criminal element,” Fraumann said. “What we want to do is teach them they can actually learn how to protect against those things, but first you need to know they’re even there.”

Cybersecurity was in the headlines last year when a former NSA analyst released scores of confidential documents, and when hackers gained access to Target’s network and stole shoppers’ credit card information.

Frumann says her top three suggestions for protecting yourself against cyber crime are use a phrase for a password, be aware of your surroundings when using public WiFi, and if you use your credit card online, make sure you are using a secure network.

This is the fourth cyber security boot camp, and it’s also the first time girls have been among the 20 participants, who are members of the top three teams from the 2014 Mayor’s Cyber Cup.

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