From Jan 4 to 16, Fulbright University Vietnam organized Securing Your Digital Life campaign to provide students with essential information on how to prevent and deal with cyber security threats in the digital age.
As a joint effort of Fulbright’s Student Engagement with IT Department, Wellness Center, and Student Council, the campaign made its first appearance by an email sent to the student body attaching a phishing URL requiring each students’ email address and log-in passwords. Sixty percent of nearly 600 students clicked on the link with 250 students providing their own credentials. Only 7 students, or 1% of the total number, reported the link as a scam.
The campaign’s first phase “Prevention” demonstrated the lurking dangers when students go online – an issue which has not been perceived properly. Among a number of well-established engaging activities, the workshop “Digiprevent – Dangers of Digital World” left an impact on the students with the presence of Mr. Phillip Hung Cao – Cyber & Zero Trust Evangelist and Mr. Duong Ngo Cong Hoa – Fulbright’s IT Security Manager as prominent speakers. From the perspectives of those with more than 20 years working in Information Security, the speakers enlightened the students with different types of digital danger sneaking around scam messages, emails, websites, and applications. Password protection mechanism was also explained in detail to make the students aware of how to create stronger passwords and more secure accounts.
Mr. Phillip Hung Cao proceeded to introduce Fulbright students to Zero Trust – a strategic approach to cybersecurity that secures an organization by eliminating implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of a digital interaction. A key component to achieving Zero Trust is Multifactor Authentication that Fulbright is integrating to all students and staff’s accounts whose access will be granted only after users’ successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism.
In the second phase, the panel discussion “Digitreatment – Dealing with Trauma Caused by Data Breach” was hosted to stimulate candid dialogue about psychological trauma caused by digital threats. Accidents happen that no one expects, which may include but not limited to the exposure of sensitive photos and private messages, the misuse of private pictures, being cyberbullied for expressing a controversial opinion, being hacked, etc. Without any instructions on how to handle these unpleasant situations in advance, the victim may go into a state of panic, fall into crisis and destructive patterns. Hence, Fulbright’s Wellness Counselor Ms. Le Nguyen Ngoc Tram moderated the panel discussion while offering psychological guidance on how to stay mentally healthy when a data breach occurs. Furthermore, proper ways to support someone affected by digital threats were discussed, including reaching out to Fulbright’s Wellness Center for private, confidential, and free-of-charge counseling services available for all students.
“It is easy to trust the technology,” said a Fulbright student. “The more convenient it is, the more reckless we are. That is why I fell for the phishing email in the first place. I have learned so much ever since. I love how this campaign was structured with enthusiastic and expert speakers. From now on, I will definitely stick with strong passwords and multifactor authentication.”
The campaign “Securing Your Digital Life” is one of many Student Engagement initiatives to promote Fulbright students’ campus-wide involvement in learning opportunities, programs, and events outside the classroom. “Our priority is to facilitate activities that contribute to student’s engagement with diverse communities, foster their holistic development, and inspire lifelong commitment to learning and excellence as engaged members of society.” – said Ms. Ruby Nguyen, Fulbright’s Student Engagement Manager.