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Free class teaches online safety

Our daily lives have become dependent on cyberspace. Through the Internet and various computer networks we do business, entertain ourselves and get essential government services.

In our daily dealings it easy to forget there are risks. According to the Department of Homeland Security, cyber intrusions and attacks have increased dramatically over the last decade.

Recently, the Target financial breach and the Heartbleed bug have provided a reminder how vulnerable we all can be.

To help protect consumers in Dakota County, the Dakota County Library system has partnered with Dakota County Technical College to offer a class on cybersecurity. The class will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 7 at the Robert Trail Library.

Last year the Dakota County Library System focused on financial literacy. At that time some of the program touched on cybersecurity and adult programs manager Russ Cogar said people voiced interest in learning more about how to protect themselves online.

In response to that interest, Cogar worked with Scott Determan at Dakota County Technical College to create a class to help individuals secure themselves online. Led by Determan, the class will be taught by DCTC students.

Cogar said the partnership with DCTC is a win-win situation. The class offers important information to the public on Internet and computer safety, while giving DCTC students an opportunity for professional development.

“There’s just a whole lot of wins,” said Cogar.

The class will cover topics such as why breaches happen, features of a good password, social engineering, mobile security, malware and malware products.

Overall, Cogar said the aim is to equip people with the knowledge to keep themselves safe and to respond quickly.

Depending on the success of the class, Cogar and Determan hope to expand the program to other libraries in the Dakota County Library system.

There’s room for 25 people in the class. Cogar asked interested residents to register either online at or by phone at 651-480-1200.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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