Stamford students advocate for cyber safety through their nonprofit organization
Three teenagers from Stamford have started a nonprofit organization to help people protect themselves on the internet and from cyberattacks.
Jake Davidson, Vadaanya Paliwal and Rohan Sahu of Westhill High School established Cyber Aware Official to help senior citizens and middle school students not become a target for scams.
They decided to form the website after their friend’s grandmother was scammed out of thousands of dollars. They don’t charge for the services and say they just want to help.
"We wanted to take some initiative and decided we wanted to educate these people more about cybersecurity," says Davidson.
According to the FBI, in 2022, there were more than 800,000 complaints made nationwide by people who were victims of a cyberattack or cyber scams.
With the rise of artificial intelligence, there is also the risk of being tricked by fake phone calls from someone impersonating the voice of friends or family.
Davidson says families should have a “safe word” that they can use that would quickly decipher if a call is a fake or not.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal has also warned Connecticut residents to beware of online scams.
“I will be working through federal legislation on protecting against these kinds of breaches…ransomware and these threats….it's an urgent need for this country to address,” says Blumenthal.
The teenage experts say to use strong passwords, never click on unknown links and avoid giving out personal information.