D.A.R.E. America http://www.dare.org Empowering Children to Lead Safe and Healthy Lives Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:11:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 D.A.R.E. America Awarded National Council on Patient Information in Education OTC Literacy Grant http://www.dare.org/d-a-r-e-america-awarded-national-council-on-patient-information-in-education-otc-literacy-grant/ http://www.dare.org/d-a-r-e-america-awarded-national-council-on-patient-information-in-education-otc-literacy-grant/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:23:52 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16166 A meeting, in Washington, D.C., of entities concerned with over-the-counter (OTC) drug misuse and abuse was convened by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE). The stakeholders’ forum – Promoting OTC Literacy Beyond the Classroom – was convened to achieve the following objectives: Create awareness for the McNeil/Scholastic/American Association of Poison Control Centers(AAPCC) […]

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A meeting, in Washington, D.C., of entities concerned with over-the-counter (OTC) drug misuse and abuse was convened by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE). The stakeholders’ forum – Promoting OTC Literacy Beyond the Classroom – was convened to achieve the following objectives:

  • Create awareness for the McNeil/Scholastic/American Association of Poison Control Centers(AAPCC) OTC Literacy educational program and models of programs that are addressing OTC literacy among forum participants, including the research behind its development, component pieces and their intended use in the classroom and at home; and assessment(s) to date.
  • Advance the dialogue among non-classroom-based school and community-based youth service provider organizations about the availability and use of the OTC Literacy program at the local, state, and national levels through their unique spheres of influence and programming.

Approximately 30 organizations representing public and youth service organizations (American Association of Poison Control Centers, Boy & Girl Scouts of America, CADCA, D.A.R.E., 4H, NAACP, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Ohio State University), government agencies (FDA, SAMSHA, NIDA), NCPIE members and partners that are involved in supporting public health and safety and interested in promoting OTC Literacy participated the forum. Support for the forum was provided through an unrestricted educational grant from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, a member of the NCPIE coalition. As a follow up to the Forum, NCPIE will prepare an Online Guide for Organizing, Promoting, Conducting and Assessing an OTC Literacy Program in your Community.

During the meeting it was announced that NCPIE would award up to five grants of $10,000 each to select nonprofit stakeholders’ forum participants. The grants would be awarded based upon proposals submitted after the forum. Criteria for applying for these grants included: demonstrated capability to conduct a customized/branded OTC Literacy outreach campaign, description of campaign goals and objectives; identification of a campaign target audience(s) and methodologies for reaching each target audience; OTC Literacy program media plan (including traditional and social media strategies); and OTC Literacy program impact/assessment plan.

D.A.R.E. America was selected by NCPIE for award of an OTC Literacy grant.

NCPIE – For additional information about MCPIE visit http://www.ncpie.org/

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Grants bolster school safety, financial education http://www.dare.org/grants-bolster-school-safety-financial-education/ http://www.dare.org/grants-bolster-school-safety-financial-education/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:27:50 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16162 From cullmantimes.com. Two Cullman County schools are the recipients of grants from the Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC) to invest in safety equipment, which matches a nationwide trend of increased campus security. Fairview Middle School and West Point Elementary School each received $2,100 grants from the CCCDC on Oct. 9 to install keypads to filter […]

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From cullmantimes.com.

Two Cullman County schools are the recipients of grants from the Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC) to invest in safety equipment, which matches a nationwide trend of increased campus security.

Fairview Middle School and West Point Elementary School each received $2,100 grants from the CCCDC on Oct. 9 to install keypads to filter those who wish to enter the campuses.

“These will allow us to monitor people who come in the building,” Fairview Middle School principal Trina Walker said. “We want to be able to say OK to those who come in.”

Walker said that it was becoming increasingly more common for schools to install equipment to monitor visitors in the wake of national tragedies.

“The safety for our kids — our students — is what this is all about,” she said. “This is for our faculty, staff, kids and students.”

West Point Elementary School principal Angie Yabrough said the CCCDC money would help her school finish an existing effort to install cameras.

“This is a lot more common,” Yabrough said. “We do everything we can to monitor our school.”

Another CCCDC grant focused on a different kind of security measure; helping students protect them a less tangible threat: finance.

The Link of Cullman County, which offers supportive services for poor and vulnerable individuals, received $8,000 to put toward its Wise Up Money Skills program.

“In fall of 2012, we launched the program at Vinemont and Child Have for 9th graders,” Director Dawn Owens said. “It’s a 15-week financial advisement program.”

The Link of Cullman County will now be providing the program to six high schools and 30 classrooms in Cullman County — Cold Springs, Cullman, Fairview, Hanceville, Vinemont and West Point.

“We start off talking to students about power struggles,” Owens said. “We talk about the decisions people make to survive.”

Owens added that the program emphasized hands-on activities, like budgeting, and included students’ parents.

“We show a video about what it would be like to live on a minimum wage salary,” she said. “That’s always an eye-opener. We go over needs and wants, and the importance of financial institutions versus predatory lending.”

The CCCDC grant is part of the large community involvement in the program. People’s Bank, Cullman Savings Bank, Traditions Bank, Eva Bank and First Community Bank all help sponsor the program.

“It costs $24 per student,” Owens said. “We are thankful for the $8,000 from the CCCDC. It’s a blessing.”

Other grant recipients:

The Crane Hill Volunteer Fire Department received $8,000 for new equipment.

The Town of Fairview received $6,163.02 to resurface a local road.

 

The Kelly Community Center received $1,5000 to upgrade the building. The community center is a Cullman County polling place.

Vinemont High School received $1,000 to help fund additional use of NASA’s INSPIRE program.

 

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Twin Ports law enforcement host forum on internet safety http://www.dare.org/twin-ports-law-enforcement-host-forum-on-internet-safety/ http://www.dare.org/twin-ports-law-enforcement-host-forum-on-internet-safety/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:16:19 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16158 From www.northlandsnewscenter.com. Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) – Police on both sides of the bridge showed Northlanders how they crack internet crimes during a forum in Duluth on Thursday. Law enforcement met with community members at Duluth East High School to talk about the dangers of internet and social media in the 21st century. From online predators, […]

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From www.northlandsnewscenter.com.

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) – Police on both sides of the bridge showed Northlanders how they crack internet crimes during a forum in Duluth on Thursday.

Law enforcement met with community members at Duluth East High School to talk about the dangers of internet and social media in the 21st century.
From online predators, to cyber hacking and online bullying, authorities say there are dangers around every corner of the internet.

“The biggest problem we see is the ease of predators and for people to seek these kids out and easy it is for predators to reach out and find victims, how easy it is to bully classmates and use technology like this to remain anonymous and harass people,” said Sgt., Mike LaFontaine, Duluth Police Dept.

Officials say parents need to play a bigger role in monitoring their children’s internet activity, including mobile apps, like Facebook, and Snap Chat as these are some of the easiest ways predators are reaching victims.

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Elementary students learning to combat bullying http://www.dare.org/elementary-students-learning-to-combat-bullying/ http://www.dare.org/elementary-students-learning-to-combat-bullying/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:05:23 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16154 Wausau School District students learned this week how to stand up to bullying and avoid being bullies themselves.(Photo: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media ). From www.wausaudailyherald.com. WAUSAU – When 11-year-old Dariana Dogan saw some older kids bullying her classmates in school last year, she was able to stand up to them and tell them to knock it off. She […]

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Wausau School District students learned this week how to stand up to bullying and avoid being bullies themselves.(Photo: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media ).

From www.wausaudailyherald.com.

When 11-year-old Dariana Dogan saw some older kids bullying her classmates in school last year, she was able to stand up to them and tell them to knock it off.

She could do it because of some special training she got on how to head off a confrontation, and she put it to good use.

“It helps you know how to deal with bullying when you see it,” Dogan said of the two-day Safe School Ambassador training she fell back on during the incident.

Dogan, now in her second year of training, is among 37 students in fourth and fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary School who are learning to recognize and address bullying, both in and outside of school.

“Teachers don’t know about half the stuff that goes on,” fourth-grader Caleb Tuley, 9, chimed in during one of the classes being held this week at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County.

Teachers and administrators say they hope the training will empower students to address the bullying they encounter, but the training also aims to boost students’ self-esteem, build connections between existing cliques and prompt introspection about even Student Ambassadors’ negative actions.

Students told each other during the training about their past successes in standing up to bullying and reflected on such things as the put-downs they themselves had let fly at siblings.

Ideally, other students will pick up on the positive behaviors modeled by the ambassadors, changing the school climate over time. The ambassadors were taught that even small gestures, such as talking with a student who typically eats alone, can make a big difference, and that it’s OK to approach an adult for help in more difficult situations.

The ambassadors said that last school year, they took action more than 450 times to combat bullying, according to data compiled by Andy Gorski, the school’s adviser and school counselor.

On a wall of the UWMC room where the training took place were five posters with the words, “exclusion,” “intimidation,” “unwanted physical contact,” “acts against campus,” and “put downs.” Students hung sticky notes on each poster with examples of the types of bullying they had seen or experienced.

“The different types of Post-its illustrate things students have noticed on their campus,” said Annette Schyadre, a trainer from the company Community Matters, who was leading the group. “Many of the adults on site are shocked because they don’t know this is happening.”

Some students wrote that they were bullied on the bus or heard kids swearing at each other on the playground. Others wrote that classmates had intimated them or that they seen kids threaten to harm themselves.

“It hurts me to see this kind of stuff,” Gorski said.

It is important not just that students are safe at school, he said, but that they feel safe, too.

The training was not over when the students left the campus Friday afternoon. Small groups will continue to meet each week for the next month and then every other week after that. The whole group will meet once a month.

“It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of work,” Gorski said, looking at the students. “But it’s worth it.”

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Celebrate Safe Communities http://www.dare.org/celebrate-safe-communities/ http://www.dare.org/celebrate-safe-communities/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:56:53 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16150 Sgt. Robert Ruxer hands out flying discs during Celebrate Safe Communities night Tuesday, Oct. 7. Akin to National Night Out, city leaders and citizens mingled at about 25 events, large and small, across Colonial Heights. Patrick Kane/Progress-Index Photos. From The Progress-Index. COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Neighborhoods across the city joined forces for Celebrate Safe Communities night Tuesday, […]

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Sgt. Robert Ruxer hands out flying discs during Celebrate Safe Communities night Tuesday, Oct. 7. Akin to National Night Out, city leaders and citizens mingled at about 25 events, large and small, across Colonial Heights. Patrick Kane/Progress-Index Photos.

From The Progress-Index.

COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Neighborhoods across the city joined forces for Celebrate Safe Communities night Tuesday, Oct. 7. Akin to National Night Out, city leaders and citizens mingled at about 25 events – large and small – across Colonial Heights.

Sgt. Robert Ruxer appeared at Woodlawn Baptist Church to hand out flying discs to kids, and greet the organizers and participants. He said they had lost a few sites, but gained new ones.

“You’ll see a lot of white shirts out her because the Tri-Cities Strike Force is out here,” he said, including police leaders and prosecutors from neighboring localities.

“We just want to be friendly and welcome them,” said Diane Embry co-chair of Woodlawn’s first-ever event. The church grounds included music, food, games and activities. Embry said they are working on a Neighborhood Watch program, also.

The Colonial Heights Public Library staff hosted their event in the parking lot of neighboring Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, where a big crowd mingled and checked out tables from the Red Cross, U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum and Central Virginia Waste Management Agency.

Brian Moran, Virginia secretary of public safety and homeland security, chatted with folks at the event. He was invited by local officials during a meeting earlier in the day.

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Family night at Dakota to focus on dangers of marijuana http://www.dare.org/family-night-at-dakota-to-focus-on-dangers-of-marijuana/ http://www.dare.org/family-night-at-dakota-to-focus-on-dangers-of-marijuana/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:38:57 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16147 From The Voice. A frank discussion about the basics of marijuana, including medical and non-medical, detection in youth and physical effects, will be the focus of a Family Night Out event at Dakota High School. Marijuana 101 is a free event sponsored by the Dakota High School Student Assistance Center and the Chippewa Valley Coalition […]

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From The Voice.

A frank discussion about the basics of marijuana, including medical and non-medical, detection in youth and physical effects, will be the focus of a Family Night Out event at Dakota High School.

Marijuana 101 is a free event sponsored by the Dakota High School Student Assistance Center and the Chippewa Valley Coalition for Youth and Families. The event will be held on Nov. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the community room of Dakota High School in Macomb Township. Entrance will be through the north doors of the school. Parents are encouraged to attend with or without their children, but children younger than sixth grade are not encouraged to attend. The event includes pizza for participants. Registration is requested by Nov. 14 by calling (586) 723-2872 or emailing slange@cvs.k12.mi.us.

Dakota High School Student Assistance Specialist Stephanie Lange will offer current research information about marijuana, as well as dangers it can pose to youth. Lange described the Marijuana 101 event as having a different slant than other marijuana or drug focused Family Nights Out held in the past. Previously, the focus has been about drug addiction and recovery, Lange said.

“We will talk about youth use of marijuana using some of the latest research out of the National Institute on Drug Abuse,” Lange said.

The event is aimed particularly at middle school students and their parents, and is designed to encourage conversations, Lange said. Research supports the idea that parents are a more powerful influence on their children than friends, according to Lange.

“It helps parents get ideas on how to talk to their kids about the dangers of marijuana,” Lange said.

For Marijuana 101, a Mobilizing Michigan PowerPoint presentation created by the Chippewa Valley Coalition for Youth and Families will be used, according to Lange. The Mobilizing Michigan: Protecting Our Kids from Marijuana Campaign Tool Kit has many components to provide communities with information about youth marijuana use dangers. The complete tool kit components, including town hall meeting planning guides, PSAs and fact sheets, are free at cvcoalition.org.

Lange said that the discussion on Nov. 17 will also include ways to detect if your child is using marijuana and how to intervene. Paranoia, panic attacks, short term memory issues and balance problems can all be symptoms of use, Lange said.

“Some parents don’t know what it smells like,” Lange said.

Small group discussions are encouraged after informational presentations, according to Lange.

“One of the things we talk about is brain development in youth. The latest research shows IQ points drop when you use marijuana in your teens and 20s. We talk about the possible loss of financial aid for college,” Lange said.

The physical effects of marijuana on youth, as well as legal consequences, will be discussed, according to Lange.

“For the majority of children, marijuana is not medicine,” Lange said.

Lange said she did not plan to address the issue of whether medical marijuana was good or bad.

“The only thing I plan to say about medical marijuana is to show the process, how medications are approved in the U.S. and how they do testing… Marijuana never went through this process at all,” Lange said.

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West Deptford drug recovery group offers free help to addicts, families http://www.dare.org/west-deptford-drug-recovery-group-offers-free-help-to-addicts-families/ http://www.dare.org/west-deptford-drug-recovery-group-offers-free-help-to-addicts-families/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:26:57 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16144 Right: A flier for “The Meeting” that was handed out at Woodbury’s Fall Festival Parade earlier in October. (Greg Adomaitis | South Jersey Times). From www.nj.com. WEST DEPTFORD TWP. — Wearing a tucked-in button-up shirt, dress slacks and shoes, 25-year-old Greg Maurer slides into a booth at the Colonial Diner in Woodbury and lays it all out. […]

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Right: A flier for “The Meeting” that was handed out at Woodbury’s Fall Festival Parade earlier in October. (Greg Adomaitis | South Jersey Times).

From www.nj.com.

WEST DEPTFORD TWP. — Wearing a tucked-in button-up shirt, dress slacks and shoes, 25-year-old Greg Maurer slides into a booth at the Colonial Diner in Woodbury and lays it all out.

“From jail to Yale,” he says, drug addiction knows no bounds. Maurer should know — he’s a recovering addict with an admittedly rough past.

It’s that first-hand struggle, however, that has allowed him and a handful of outreach professionals to launch “The Meeting” in West Deptford.

Held for the first time last Saturday and drawing 27 guests, the free service at The Lords Vineyard Church gives those with nowhere to turn a route for getting clean, a route that will even lead to a rehab facility in Florida for some.

Maurer is a a nationally-certified drug/alcohol interventionist, but he’s just one cog in the wheel.

Also on board is John Pilla, who has 23 years in addiction services and is a Certified Drug/Alcohol Counselor. So is Pastor Neil T. Murphy, who through personal experience working with troubled individuals, is “driven to pull back the curtain on addiction,” Maurer said of tackling stigma.

Others involved include Frank Smith, who has been working with public school students through the D.A.R.E. program for years; Colleen Howard, whose son died of an overdose and now works to educate parents and console those who have lost someone; and Barbara Smith, who shares a message of hope that shows recovery is possible.

The meetings go beyond a resource and support group; they target addicts as well as their families who are trying to understand where to draw the line between helping and enabling, Maurer said.

“It’s a meeting that’s here for the family. It also bridges the gap between the struggling individual and their families,” he added.

The group has teamed up with professionals in the field of addiction with resources that include detox, treatment and outpatient programs; sober living; addiction counseling services; anonymous fellowships and more.

“We have every step of the process in our pockets,” he said.

Neon yellow fliers for the Oct. 11 meeting were passed out at Woodbury’s Fall Festival Parade, Maurer said. Bluntly stating, “You are not alone. You can’t make it on your own,” the flier goes on to read that support for families of suffering addicts is offered.

“We encourage you to bring your struggling addicts,” he said. “My job is to build hope in somebody.”

Maurer knows the struggle.

“I was at the end up my rope,” he said of personal struggles where the need to score and search for cash spiraled out of control. “Steal a car, rob a house, get to Camden, or overdose and die …  You can be on a bus for 10 minutes and you’re in an open-air drug market,” he said, pointing north along Broad Street toward Camden.

That is the gritty reality of someone doing what it takes to feed a drug addiction. Maurer broke free and now wants to help others ready to take the first of 12 steps, he said.

Treatment and rehab facilities aren’t the cure-all; they’re the beginning of a long recovery, he said. A 12-step program is where the solution is at, he said.

What’s more, organizers hope to send a struggling individual to Believe Treatment Center, in Palm Beach, Florida through a scholarship valued at $25,000 once every two months.

“It’s an honor to be in a position to lend a hand when needed,” said center Owner Anthony Lucca.

The selected individual will only be responsible for airfare and if they can’t afford a plane ticket, Addiction Frontline, a secondary sponsor, will donate airfare.

“I want to stop and actually try and change the outcome of a situation,” Maurer said.

The group meets every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at The Lords Vineyard Church, 301 Colonial Dr., in West Deptford.

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Crime Task Force curbs drug trade http://www.dare.org/crime-task-force-curbs-drug-trade/ http://www.dare.org/crime-task-force-curbs-drug-trade/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:16:54 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16141 Sheriff credits multiple prong approach. Deputy Joe Carl and K9 unit Riley are members of the Hardin County Sheriffs Department canine unit which works very closely with the task force. From The Ada Herald Media. HARDIN COUNTY — On Oct. 7, the Hardin County Crime Task Force conducted three traffic stops in Washington Township. As […]

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Sheriff credits multiple prong approach.

Deputy Joe Carl and K9 unit Riley are members of the Hardin County Sheriffs Department canine unit which works very closely with the task force.

From The Ada Herald Media.

HARDIN COUNTY — On Oct. 7, the Hardin County Crime Task Force conducted three traffic stops in Washington Township. As a result of the traffic stops, Kim Gibson was arrested and three other persons have charges pending, one female and two males. One male is facing charges for possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Another male was arrested for possession of drugs. With the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office Detective Division, Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit and Osborn’s Towing, the Task Force seized two vehicles, heroin, pills, marijuana, cocaine, cash and drug paraphernalia.

The arrest and pending charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Crime Task Force.  It is beneficial to the county to have a task force, because those working it are able to focus mainly on drugs and serious crimes.  They have a more flexible schedule that supports ongoing investigation cases such as this one.

Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart feels that the drug problem has to be fought with a multiple prong approach.  He is confident in his task force, street patrol, K9 team and the drug recovery program.  In addition, a new method of prevention will soon be in place.  Deputy Chrissy Jones recently graduated D.A.R.E. training school. D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and is designed to be a fun and educational tool to help teach students how to say no to drugs.

All schools in Hardin County are on board with the implementation of D.A.R.E. programs in the schools.  Deputy Jones already works with schools, talking with kids about saying no to drugs but the Sheriff looks forward to having an official D.A.R.E. Deputy.  Since joining the department in 1993, there has never been a D.A.R.E. program in Hardin County. Therefore, it has been a goal of Sheriff Everhart’s.

 

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Detroit gets $200,000 for school safety strategy http://www.dare.org/detroit-gets-200000-for-school-safety-strategy/ http://www.dare.org/detroit-gets-200000-for-school-safety-strategy/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:42:33 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16138 From Detroit Free Press. Detroit Public Schools has received a donation totaling more than $200,000 to keep students safe while they travel to and from school. The money donated Thursday by AAA of Michigan will be used to enhance the safety of students. Efforts include coordinated safety zones, blight removal and signage. It also allows […]

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From Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Public Schools has received a donation totaling more than $200,000 to keep students safe while they travel to and from school.

The money donated Thursday by AAA of Michigan will be used to enhance the safety of students. Efforts include coordinated safety zones, blight removal and signage. It also allows for the addition of 10 volunteer vehicle patrols and equip them with identification badges, reflective vests, two-way radios and gas expenses.

The Safe Routes to School strategy is a citywide effort that focuses on prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry. It directly supports the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.

AAA donated $56,000 to support Safe Routes last year, when it only covered 14 school zones. The program has since expanded to include all 97 school campuses.

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University to promote online safety http://www.dare.org/university-to-promote-online-safety/ http://www.dare.org/university-to-promote-online-safety/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:34:39 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=16134 From The Quinnipiac Chronicle. Before freshman Nikime Headley was hacked on Facebook, she rarely thought about changing passwords on her social media accounts. “[My account] started sending spam messages to other people,” Headley said. “Now I change my password about every other month.” Headley’s experience is not uncommon; a 2011 survey from the New York Daily News […]

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From The Quinnipiac Chronicle.

Before freshman Nikime Headley was hacked on Facebook, she rarely thought about changing passwords on her social media accounts.

“[My account] started sending spam messages to other people,” Headley said. “Now I change my password about every other month.”

Headley’s experience is not uncommon; a 2011 survey from the New York Daily News revealed about 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked on a daily basis. Many Quinnipiac students, including sophomore Kelsey Pavao, have witnessed out-of-the-ordinary behavior from a Facebook friend.

“You see stuff like weird messages or weird pictures being posted,” Pavao said. “The picture thing has happened to me before, where my account posted one and tagged a bunch of people in it.”

Pavao said she deleted the picture but didn’t start changing her password more frequently.

This sort of behavior is problematic for Brian Kelly, the chief information security officer at Quinnipiac. Kelly has witnessed many security breaches on students’ emails and WebAdvisor accounts, but noticed a majority of students seem unconcerned with the issue.

“We try to reach out to students and say that their computers or accounts are at risk and students generally say [they] don’t care,” Kelly said. “I think [the issue of security] is a difficult one for a student audience; you’re young and you feel like you’re invincible, so you have a different perspective of privacy than older people do.”

A majority of the low-frequency security breaches at the university have been pranks, such as a student logging onto their roommate’s Facebook or Twitter account and posting joke statuses or messages or logging onto online gaming accounts and stealing a user’s currency in the game.

However, Kelly has experienced more severe cases of students hacking into someone else’s WebAdvisor account where someone registered and dropped all of a person’s newly-added classes.

To combat these issues, the university provides a variety of cyber-security resources for students on MyQ, including a free antivirus product for Macs and PCs and Information Security Awareness Training videos which are updated twice a year.

Since many students fail to receive adequate information on the topic throughout middle and high school, next year’s incoming freshman class will be required to watch the videos and complete a module similar to Alcohol.Edu for cyber security.

“When we ask a student when they learned about cyber security in grades K-12, a lot of times they’ll say that no one’s ever taught them anything,” he said. “There’s probably more focus on cyber-bullying in school now, but there’s still not a lot of emphasis on how to protect yourself.”

In addition to the topics of email and messaging, social networks and mobile device security, the three-to-six-minute videos also discuss password security.

Kelly knows the university’s practice of changing passwords every 180 days is frustrating for some students.

“People think it’s a pain,” Kelly said. “But a lot of times if passwords are compromised here, it can give hackers access to your financial information and potentially passwords to other online accounts. It’s important to keep your login information confidential.”

His opinion is shared by freshman Cameron Renslow.

“I feel like [changing my QU password] is sort of annoying, but it’s also a good thing,” Renslow said. “There’s a lot of stuff on there that I wouldn’t want people to have access to. I probably should change my other passwords more often. It’s actually really bad because I use the same password with variations for everything.”

While Kelly says updating passwords is a good practice for post-college employment because employers will ask you to change your passwords often, some students disagree with the university’s policy.

“I think it’s too much; I think we change them too often, and I run out of passwords to use,” sophomore Emily Katz said. “Our school emails aren’t really something that someone would want to break into.”

Katz said that she’d prefer to change her password once a year rather than every semester.

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month this October, Kelly shared some tips for online safety.

“The biggest thing is just to be cautious,” he said. “Be careful of where you’re putting information. We always recommend that on social media accounts – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – make sure that your settings are such that your privacy is protected and you’re not giving away too much personal information.”

Katz agreed students should make the content on their social media sites private.

“People can go through all your photos on Facebook if it’s not private: they can save pictures of you and it’s creepy,” Katz said. ”Someone you don’t know can literally see everything you do, if you’re not careful.”

 

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