WYOMISSING, Pa. — Senior citizens often are the frequent targets of online scams and phishing attacks. A group of Penn State Berks students majoring in information sciences and technology, and security and risk analysis, under the moniker “Cyber Lions,” aim to raise awareness of cybercrimes and scams targeting seniors and to help protect them from scammers and criminals. The student group is led by security and risk analysis major Allison Piech.
On Feb. 17, Cyber Lions organized an event at Phoebe Berks, a retirement community in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, to teach the residents about online security. Approximately 30 residents attended the event, which included a brief presentation on password security, phishing scams, and safe practices for banking and shopping online.
Following the presentation, Piech and volunteers Tyler Manogue, Ethan Adams, Daniel Frederick, Ryan Fletcher and Andrew Brakebill answered the attendees’ questions.
Adams commented, “When Allison let me know about the Cyber Lions collaboration with Phoebe Berks, I was excited to give back in a way that aligns with my interests in technology. Thanks to her superb organization, the event went off even better than expected, and we got the chance to help senior citizens protect themselves from technology mishaps!”
Piech says the experience helped her learn about new security threats seniors are facing by hearing about security incidents attendees have experienced. She also learned more about older adults' concerns about technology and has every intention to continue being a cybersecurity ally to senior citizens in her community.
Cyber Lions plan to organize other events and workshops in the community to educate seniors about cyber scams and teach them how to secure their devices through one-to-one sessions. They also plan to involve more Penn State Berks students in their activities. Abdullah Konak, professor of information sciences and technology, serves as adviser to the Cyber Lions student organization.