The University of Memphis has recruited DEVCON, a cybersecurity solutions company that protects websites from third parties attempting to steal user’s personal information, for their new UMRF Research Park.

In the age of the internet, where it seems there is just as much danger online as the real world, having a secure network is vital. Thousands of students attend the University of Memphis, and it is imperative to protect them from hackers looking to take advantage of them.

Jin Yang is a web publishing professor in the UofM Department of Journalism and Strategic Mediaand is also editor of The Bridge, a newsletter for Memphis PC users. Yang said the first and most important thing to remember regarding cybersecurity is to update your system regularly.

“To me, it is like owning and driving a car,” Yang said. “When you have a computer, you want to make sure you know how to use it but also protect it, just as you would a car. Many people underestimate how dangerous the internet can be if you are too ignorant to do anything to keep your files and information safe.”

Yang also said awareness of the situation is important because it shows that you recognize that the issue is real, which should be motivation enough to do something about it. Yang added that the UofM has access to thousands of student’s academic files, student files and financial information that would be detrimental if stolen, so hiring DEVCON was a great investment.

A few months ago, the UofM announced they opened the new UMRF Research Park as an innovation hub to bring in talent from around the globe as a means to enhance, improve and innovate the community that the university serves.

DEVCON was brought in to stop seemingly innocent hackers that can reel anyone in by a simple click from an email. Such emails come from anonymous sources and can link their systems with students and easily take their information.

Many people are not fully aware of the dangers of being hacked online. According to Security Magazine, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. By the time an average person types out a tweet and posts it, the next hacker attack has already happened.

Breach Level Index reports that hackers steal 75 records each second. Even though record breaching is rarer than it seems, according to the report, one breach itself can have access to a large number of confidential records and personal files.

Personal files include credit card numbers, bank statements, Social Security numbers, subscription accounts, among others. In 2013 and 2014, hackers hit one of their biggest peaks by exposing the personal information of 110 million people, which is nearly half the number of this nation’s adults.

Christian Reyna, an engineering major, has seen the effects of internet hacking and always keeps an eye on his devices to ensure he doesn’t fall into the same hole.

“One of my best friends’ had his family’s personal information hacked a few years ago,” Reyna said. “The fact they were safer outside in the street at that time then in the comfort of their own office has always struck me, and I hope DEVCON isn’t something people don’t take for granted.”

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