[Dshield] User Education revisited - need to start with 'local'communities

Deb Hale haled at pionet.net
Sun Feb 22 12:40:24 GMT 2004

Linda, I totally agree.  I have for the last 2 years been trying to get this
information out to my community. It was really slow at first, people didn't
want to listen. I am now presenting to groups once a week. I have done work
shops at schools, media centers, senior citizen groups, and tip clips for
one of our local tv stations.  I have talked to all age groups.  I have now
been asked to present at two conferences in the fall in Iowa.

The thing that amazed me at first and still amazes me today is that people
are so naive when it comes to the internet and it's "dangers" and they are
so receptive and appreciative of the information I have shared with them.
People call me after the session is over and ask me to come and clean up
their computer.  I can honestly say that the users in my area are becoming
more educated and safer internet users.  (The number of Kazaa users is
dropping rapidly. ;-) ).     There are so many more to educate and I am
having so much fun doing it. Just don't give up. We need more people to take
an active role in this type of education.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Linda Ruiz" <linlu at yahoo.com>
To: <list at dshield.org>
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2004 7:05 PM
Subject: [Dshield] User Education revisited - need to start with

I recall a poster stating that User Education was dead.  I
disagreed with that statement but could not offer a suggestion
until today.  I believe the problem has been that we're using
computer communities to educate, when in fact we need to tie
into 'local communities' - in this case church groups, civic
clubs, and the like.

I didn't realize this myself, it was a coworker's request for my
help in putting together a computer security presentation for
his group's members that provided me an answer to the User
Education dilemna.  He just started working for our company.  In
his first week I remember how surprised (and frankly a little
scared) he was after I had explained how his machine at home
could be owned.  He had asked about getting rid of a nuisance
app (spyware).  That 30 minute discussion was a real eye opener
for him - and I thought at the time, well at least I have one
convert - next.  But his idea to present this to church members
today was the proverbial light bulb.  I think if we gained
allies in these groups and let them present this information in
their own manner, it would help and at least get many more users
thinking about security than we could from our own efforts.

I don't know about you, but most of my friends are already in
the technology field, so 'preaching to the choir' only goes so
far.  If we ally ourselves with the hometown social networks,
then I think we can begin to see some benefit.  Maybe it's my
own optimistic view of the power of such communities, but they
don't have to be the only method of improving User Education.

As for his presentation, I sent him a copy of the one I had
created back in September.  He is going to condense his to a one
page Do's & Don'ts List (Do's on one column, Don'ts on the other
column).  He will also remove my 'geek speak' and put the
suggestions into terms non technical folks can quickly
appreciate.  I can't wait to see his finished product.

All is not lost,
- Linda Ruiz :)

For my non-geek friends:
Friends don't email friends .exe or .com files.  So don't open those types
of attachments!!
For my geek friends:
Adopt a newbie....

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