Mediaplanet: Have you ever been victim of a cybercrime?

Patrick Vilkinofsky: I have not, but that's only because of the combination of education and awareness to scrutinize what is within my control - what I install and how much information I divulge.

MP: In our social media-crazed culture, what precautions do you take to keep your personal information secure?

PV: By using social media sparingly and the understanding that not everything needs to be shared. You don't have to check in everywhere you go, tag everyone you're with and upload what's akin to a scrapbook of events of the evening for all to see.

MP: What aspect of your digital footprint do you wish you knew more about?

PV: Everyone should know more about what metadata is, what's being collected when and for what purpose. It's easy to dismiss by saying "Oh, it's just my [browser, call time, or location. What's the harm?" However, your digital footprint is more than just the sum of its parts; seemingly innocuous data can be combined and correlated to create a life stream of an individual, a diary of events for your electronic self which can be used to create timelines of events and infer your association to places and people.

MP: What digital security advancements do you hope to see within the next ten years?

PV: More and more of our daily use items, our cars and even our appliances, are becoming "smart" devices, which can be connected to a network and exploited. I would like to see securing devices become more proactive rather than reactive. Too often, the major concern is to get a product to market by a certain time and, unfortunately, the security of the software or device can fall by the wayside to meet that deadline.  

MP: As a student, what digital threats are you most concerned with?

PV: I’m most concerned with how willing people are to give up their privacy in exchange for convenience and entertainment. Some will gladly provide personally identifiable information for coupons or a free download and on social media, we are all too happy to tell the world what we're doing, where we are and where we're going.

MP: What spheres of cyber security are you most interested in pursuing after graduation?

PV: I’m most interested in pursing Cyberforensics. Securing anything 100 percent is impossible and when an incident does occur, that's where Cyberforensics steps in to ascertain the what, where, when and how.