Cybersecurity students hear from expert

David Shallcross of the PA office of the Attorney General spoke to Cybersecurity students about financial crimes.
Posted on 10/22/2019
Cybersecurity teacher Andrew Snyder speaks with David Shallcross from the office of the Attorney General.

By Gary Weckselblatt

Quakertown Community High School students taking the district’s new Cybersecurity course got to hear about financial crimes from a member of the Pennsylvania office of the Attorney General.

David Shallcross, the Senior Community Liaison and Coordinator of the Elder Abuse Unit, visited Andrew Snyder’s sixth- and seventh-period classes.

“He certainly opened their eyes to a lot of things,” Mr. Snyder said. “As a Project Lead The Way course, we want to expose students to careers and people in the community who are involved in cybersecurity. It gives students a real-world connection. It’s not just me standing there teaching, but here’s a guy who sees what’s happening every day. To me, that’s more meaningful.”

Mr. Shallcross, who spoke with Kurt Handel’s Business Law class last year, focused on financial crimes. He said that identity theft is the largest white-collar crime, with 14.4 million reports in 2018. “That number is really a lot higher,” he said, “as most people fail to report it.”

While many people believe senior citizens are at greater risk of becoming a victim of ID theft, he said more young people than older people reported having their ID stolen.

Other interesting facts he passed on to students:

  • People who use social media are at a 46 percent greater risk of becoming victims of ID theft because of “too much information sharing.”
  • If you make a purchase somewhere other than a cash register, you’re 81 percent more likely to be a victim of fraud.
  • Six billion people have access to a mobile phone, while 4.5 billion have access to a working toilet.

Mr. Shallcross’s presentation was recommended to Mr. Snyder by School Resource Officer Bob Lee, who has worked with him before. Mr. Shallcross also speaks on topics including bullying, drug crimes, anti-vaping and internet safety. 

“I really appreciated his presentation,” said Joe Lock, a cybersecurity student. “It’s outstanding that our school district invites professionals to our classrooms to give us first-hand knowledge of their profession and details the types of things they work on each day.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.

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