Students launch Cyber Security Clinic at Glasgow Central

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 09:20:00 BST

Rail passengers have been flocking to get free online safety advice from students running a new Cyber Security Clinic at Glasgow Central Station.

Cyber Security students at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) are sharing their expert knowledge on how to protect against online security attacks at Scotland’s busiest train station today and tomorrow.

More than 200 passengers caught up with the latest online safety tips on the first day of the Clinic, as the students launched their new Cyber Security service.

“A lot of people haven’t been aware they’ve got a security problem until they talk to us,” said third-year GCU cyber student Maria Khokhar. “We’re telling them how easy it is to break simple passwords and how they create a stronger one or recommend they use a password manager to do the job for them.”

Around 400 students are currently studying the ultimate cybercrime-fighting degree at GCU as the UK faces an increased threat of malicious attacks and future threats. The Clinic will give them the opportunity to share their wisdom at pop-up events in public places across the city, as well as answering questions through a new website.

“I didn’t even know my email had been hacked until they showed me,” said Angela Grant, from Glasgow. She was at the station with her daughter Deborah, who added “We don’t talk much about online safety so speaking to the students has helped us have a good chat about it. I think I’m pretty knowledgeable, and I’m about to start an online business so I think it’s really important to have events like this where you can speak to someone you can trust for advice.”

The University’s Head of Cyber Security and Networks, Dr Jackie Riley, was delighted at the public’s response.

“It’s been great to see the students out of the classroom and the security labs, meeting people and applying their knowledge. The Clinic is about helping the public, and it’s also about sharpening our students’ skills. This gives me confidence GCU is serving a real need with this Clinic, and we’re keen to hear from any community groups or public places who might benefit.”

Web designer Alex Terner said stopping by the Clinic had been a good experience. “The students seem to have lots of good tips and be giving great advice. My job is making websites easy to use, and I know no one can afford to be complacent about their online security.”

“Cyber security is at an early stage as an industry and there are lots of exciting opportunities out there,” said fourth-year student, Callum McConachie who will complete his studies in the next few weeks. “People have a real life and a digital life – and they need to protect their digital self just as much as their real self. This Clinic is giving me a taste of real-world experience which I hope I’ll soon be taking with me into my first job.”

The Cyber Security Clinic will be giving out free advice at Central Station from 10am until 2pm on April 24 and 25.