Scottish school pupils learn about cyber security in Christmas lectures

Written by Jenni Davidson on 12 December 2016 in News

The fifth annual cyber security Christmas lecture series aims to make secondary school pupils more aware of online risks

Dr Lynsay Shepherd and Dr Gavin Hales of Abertay University - Image credit: Abertay University

Secondary school pupils across Scotland will have the chance to find out more about cyber security and online safety in a series of lectures this week.

The cyber security Christmas lectures have been taking place in universities across Scotland in the week before Christmas since 2012.

Aimed at school pupils aged S4 and above and college students, the aim is to inspire a new generation into careers in the digital sector and cyber security.


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The free interactive lectures, given by industry experts, are intended to bring the subject area to life in educational but fun sessions.

They also compliment the three themes that the new National Progression Award in Cyber Security are based on: digital forensics, ethical hacking and data security.

Speakers include representatives from Police Scotland, academics from Abertay, Napier, Strathclyde and Edinburgh universities and industry partners teaching on subjects such as blockchain, internet of things and hacking the internet.

The lecture series is supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA), Young Scot, cyber security membership organisation (ISC)², information security conference BSides and Skills Development Scotland.

The first day of lectures is taking place today at UHI in Inverness, with the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen hosting tomorrow, Abertay University in Dundee on Wednesday, University of Edinburgh on Thursday and Glasgow Caledonian University on Friday.

Dr Lynsay Shepherd of Abertay Univeristy said: “Computing is such a rapidly evolving subject area that it can be very difficult for teachers to keep themselves (and the curriculum) current and interesting for the kids.

“For many of the students it’s also an opportunity for them to see a lecture in a university setting which will hopefully inspire them to go to university.”

Shepherd is giving a talk along with her colleague Dr Gavin Hales on the internet of things called ‘A Fridge Full of Spam’, which shows how easily a hacker could take control of a smart fridge to send unwanted emails.

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