OCCC professor warns of cybercrime

Professor Al Heitkamper is on a mission – to alert the world to the importance of having cyber security awareness.

In addition to being the head of the cyber security program in the computer science division at OCCC, he also serves as a community spokesman on issues related to cybercrime and how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim.

“The goal is to educate the public and private sectors about threats they face and measures they can take to protect themselves,” Heitkamper said.

Cyber security is important across all professions and has an impact on both an individual’s safety and the safety of business and government, Heitkamper said.

“The purpose is to engage public and private sector partners to raise awareness and educate Americans about cyber security and increase the resiliency of the nation and its cyber infrastructure,” Heitkamper said in e-mail.

After conducting two recent surveys at OCCC, Heitkamper said the results showed that only 3 out of every 25 people have some form of cyber security on their phone or tablet.

On the other hand, 12 out of every 25 people who had a laptop actually installed some form of cyber security.

It seems like most people know they need to protect their computers, but most don’t think of protecting their phones as well.

This survey alone shows the lack of awareness not only at OCCC, but also from people as a whole.

Heitkamper offered some helpful tips on how to stay virus-free and keep your electronics clean and running smoothly.

Heitkmaper suggests having virus protection on all devices, including computers, tablets and mobile phones. His favorite software protection is ‘Vipre’ because you can put it on as many computers and devices as you want.

A one year antivirus protection package from Vipre costs a total of $29.99.

Heitkamper’s second tip was to avoid “free temptations.”

“Anything you download for free including music, pictures, games, apps, videos, torrents, etc. has a high chance of having a virus that will slow down or completely wipe out your computer,” Heitkamper said.

For more information, contact Heitkamper at aheitkamper@occc.edu.

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