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Dr. Mary Aiken Visits Capitol Technology University!



Capitol Technology University Leadership had the pleasure of receiving a visit on Wednesday, December 8th from Dr. Mary Aiken at the campus located in Laurel, MD.

Dr. Mary Aiken is a renowned, world-leading expert in cyberpsychology, as well as the Professor of Cyberpsychology and Department Chair of Cyberpsychology at Capitol Technology University. She is also a published, peer-reviewed author, whose work has inspired the CBS primetime television series CSI: Cyber, and her book, The Cyber Effect was selected by the Times as a 2016 “book of the year” in the Thought category and was listed in the top twenty science books by Nature International Journal of Science. Her most recent publication, “Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information”, which features an article by Capitol Technology University’s Diane Janosek, is available now in the University Library.

As an established subject matter expert and speaker on cyberpsychology, human factors in cybersecurity, and online safety technologies, Dr. Aiken spoke with Capitol Technology University President Dr. Brad Sims, Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing Dianne O’Neill, and Director of Library Services and Information Literacy Allen Exner on what it means to be human when navigating the potential dangers of an online environment.

“Online Safety Technologies, or ‘Safety Tech’, focus on protecting what it is to be human online”, Dr. Aiken explains.

“What we’ve seen is…the growth of this whole sector…this awareness of the importance of online safety”.

Online harms cover a wide spectrum of online abuse, including problematic, criminal and unethical activities. It refers to areas of information and cyber security, such as mis and disinformation disseminated online, negative impacts to democracy through “fake news”, along with cyber fraud, bullying/harassment, and cyber scams that target the elderly.

In the UK, and increasingly worldwide, this “spectrum of harm” is being recognized and organizations are stimulating economy-driven online safety technology “ecosystems” to develop technology solutions to technology issues.

As an advisory board member of Paladin Capital Group, one of the leading global investors in innovative cyber companies, Dr. Aiken argues that cyber safety and cybersecurity can work together to give “360 protection”, encompassing the human factor of vulnerability online. She stressed the importance of not only robust and secure technological systems, but also the need for the people operating the systems to be “psychologically robust, resilient, safe, and secure”.

“There is no point in what we call the ‘hardware’ being robust and secure if the ‘wetware,’ the humans, are not protected within protocols”.

Collaborative research involving Dr. Aiken, specialist researchers in economics, and the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has been undertaken and published. A report of the US Safety Tech sector is currently underway and will be published in January, and initial findings show evidence of a thriving emerging US Safety Tech sector. Dr. Aiken expressed her excitement to revisit the Capitol Technology University campus again during this time to give a presentation on these important topics.

More information will be provided for this event once confirmed. Keep up-to-date with current Capitol Technology University news and events by following our social media.

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