Cybersecurity made fun: Educause posts 2009 video winners

If you have any colleagues who take a lax attitude toward computer security, introduce them to Cybersecurity Sam. He mumbles a little on camera, but his point is clear.

Sam, sporting a suit and shades, is the agent of common sense featured in the best training video entered in this year's Educause computer security video contest. In less than two minutes, Sam helps cybersecurity neophyte Catherine wise up to the perils of strange attachments, viruses, phishing and spyware--in that last category, by the way, pay attention to the color of her shirt.

Nathan Krochmal, a student at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, won a gold prize for the video, which he named "Cyber Security Awareness."

Bob Ono, information technology security coordinator in Information and Educational Technology, hopes people at UC Davis will watch the videos and use them in their units' security awareness efforts. Technologists could share the link with their peers, or integrate the videos into their existing Web content, or present them as training during staff meetings.

The 11 winning entries offer plenty of material to work with. Other videos list the 10 most common passwords--using one of these will make identity thieves your friend--and present the "Mr. Bill"-like adventures of a cardboard cutout who mindlessly poaches a neighbor's insecure wireless network to buy an antique set of bedpans on "Z-bay."

"Although the material was developed by students, the audience that could find value in the material is much broader," Ono said. "So please view it, enjoy the creativity, and spread the word."