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Social Engineering High School After-School Training Program

Cyber hygiene is a key digital literacy skill that encompasses practices and steps that individual users and organizations take to maintain their online security and strengthen the security of their computers or other digital devices. Cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging poor cyber hygiene in their attacks; one strategy they use is social engineering (SE) to develop trust relationships with potential targets and then deceive them into revealing sensitive information (passwords), obtain unauthorized access (to restricted areas, servers, etc.), or commit fraud (via phishing or spreading disinformation).

Findings from Spring 2022 After-School Training Program

In Spring 2022, the CARE Lab partnered with Black Girls Hack, Raices Cyber, and Down North Pizza to provide a 12-week virtual training program, which introduced students to various SE concepts and allowed them to try their hand at doing SE. In the 12th week, students who were interested in competing in the SE competition received guidance in putting their application together.

A total of 38 high school students across five Philadelphia, PA schools participated in the training program. As seen in the figure below, a majority of students found the SE training program useful.