Seventeen-year-old Ganesh Datta knew it was time to take action when what he thought was a secure home network was attacked by overseas hackers last year.
“Our Internet kept crashing,” he said, and after investigating, his family was shocked by what they found: “All these people were attacking us from the Philippines and Russia,” he told India-West.
Prompted by the experience – and routinely hearing about viruses — the senior from Cupertino, Calif. launched an educational Web site six months ago that informs the community about Internet safety. The site, www.SecurAid.com, is a community resource, Datta said, meant to help the average home user safeguard their computer from viruses and hackers.
“I kept seeing these kinds of attacks on companies, and a lot of people were getting viruses on their computer,” Datta said, adding that there did not seem to be a Web site that aggregated Internet safety information in layman’s terms.
The high school senior is currently interning at StrongAuth, a credit card encryption company that gives him a behind-the-scenes look into data security. Datta runs the Web site with a team of four, which includes engineering college students in India.
“In India, all these viruses are really rampant,” the Indian American senior told India-West. With his team, Datta populates his site with educational information taken from reliable sources (like government data), blog posts, and antivirus instructions, and is spreading the word at local libraries and community centers. In the future, Datta hopes to put video tutorials on the site and expand the information to including mobile device safety for Androids and iPhones.
Datta’s number one tip for at-home safety? “Don’t put too much personal information on the web,” particularly warning against using Facebook’s “check-in” feature.
“It’s nice as a social feature, but anyone who’s on your feed can see where you are at that moment,” he explained.