President Obama visits the Bay Area for cyber-security conference

On Thursday, February 12, President Barack Obama came to San Francisco for a cyber-security summit at Stanford University and for fundraising opportunities. This marks his 20th visit to the Bay Area as president. Upon his arrival, he was greeted by a group of VIPs who were eager to have the chance to meet the him. After photo sessions and handshakes, Obama moved onto the rest of the tasks on his long list of duties.

The summit Obama attended was created to raise awareness of cyber threats and to discuss data securities for consumers and companies. Some of the people that were apart of this summit include government officials, CEOs, law enforcement officials, and also staff members and students who had done extensive research on cybersecurity issues.

Cybersecurity is a very important topic in the world today, especially as the use of computers continues to grow rapidly. This summit is one of many things that will help to create ideas about preventing ideScreen Shot 2015-04-23 at 1.56.39 PMntity theft and to create secure online payment systems. Considering that there is so much personal information on one’s computer, ensuring cyber safety will continue to be a battle for many years to come.

Meanwhile, hackers are becoming increasingly threatening. According to CNET, businesses such as Target, Home Depot, and JPMorgan have all recently experienced credit card theft. Plus, Anthem health insurance company reports that hackers stole personal data from up to 80 million people. Additionally, according to a Gallup poll, hacking is the top crime that Americans are fearful of, more than crimes such as murder and assault.

The Obama administration has five major goals regarding cybersecurity: protect information systems from cyber threats, improve the ability to identify and report cyber incidents, promote internet freedom, secure federal networks, and improving authentication. Some action has been taken to accomplish these goals. For instance, in his State of the Union address, Obama proposed adding $14 billion to the 2016 budget for ensuring cyber security and stability.

Still, his proposals are far from final. There are hundreds of skeptics regarding his ideas. For example, he also proposed the Personal Data notification and Protection Act. This act would create a national standard regarding how companies notify of data breaches. Nevertheless, people are concerned that others would abuse this law because it would make it easier for customers’ information to be shared.

CNBC has some advice to limit the risk of people stealing personal data. Firstly, one can limit financial risks by using credit cards to buy things online as opposed to debit cards. This is because credit cards offer more secure protection against hackers. Installing software that scans for viruses can be helpful as well. Lastly, password managers may be useful too. These programs help you to create and manage complex passwords. In total, there are many ways in which oen’s personal information can be stolen, so it is important to take steps to protect this information.

By Lydia Bashor, News writer


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