Lakeside School District opens the world of cybersecurity to students

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – In a world where the internet is at the tip of our fingertips, cybersecurity is more important than ever. That’s why Lakeside School District in Hot Springs added that class to the curriculum.

Hands on the keyboard and eyes glued to the screen, students at Lakeside High School are learning the ins and outs of cybersecurity.

“We just recently went through a cybersecurity attack on a pipeline in the eastern part of the United States. You experience it every day in social media, your bank, there’s all kinds of fraudulence,” Teacher John Stokes said.

Stokes said in a world where the internet is in the palm of your hand, it’s important students learn how to defend potential threats.

“You’ve got to be able to read it, analyze it and immediately start acting upon it,” Stokes said.

It starts with learning the basics.

“I’ve learned multiple different operating systems,” Senior Easton Russell said.

Then, Russell said they have to click their way through various security problems.

“We just have to figure out how to solve those and we get scored based on how many of those we can fix,” Russell said.

Students say it’s like solving a virtual puzzle. Once they find the right piece, they’ll be able to take that experience into the real world.

“I’m hoping to get a computer science degree when I graduate and I’d like to go into some kind of IT career,” Russell said.

The students also train for global competitions. Last year they got second but hope to get first this time around.

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