The Santander Universities Digital Challenge winners 2016

Students at the University of Plymouth entered the Santander Universities Digital Challenge to conceptualise a campaign to raise awareness of and enhance online digital security amongst University staff and students.

Aiming to give practical support for online behaviour generally and/or in specific areas such as ID theft, phishing and password security, students from computing and information system courses submitted their campaign ideas. 

Four teams were short-listed to present to a judging panel on 29 April 2016, each mentored in advance by specialist staff from the University's Technology & Information Services (TIS) Directorate.

The judging process 

The shortlisted students presented their digital security campaign ideas to an expert panel comprising Professor Steven Furnell, Head of School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics; Craig Douglas of TIS, Dr Maria Papadaki, Lecturer in Network Security; Professor Nathan Clarke, Professor in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics; and John Finch, Information Governance Manager, Plymouth City Council.
The judging panel was also joined by Laura Smith, Personal Banker from Santander Universities.
The winning team and the runners up were awarded a cash prize from Santander Universities and all entrants received a certificate of achievement. The winning team would also see their campaign rolled out across campus.

The prize giving

The prize giving was held at the University of Plymouth as part of a BCS Charted Institute of IT South West Branch debate entitled “Online data sharing: Exposing yourself or betraying your business?.”
This discussion was shaped around the winning students' campaign on how social media, a part of online data sharing, can be insecure.
The certificates were presented to the three groups of students at the start of the event and the winners gave a short demonstration of their product to the audience. This then followed into a discussion panel debate on the topic of online data sharing led by Professor Steven Furnell and panellists Paul Ferrier of TIS, Professor Omer Rana of Cardiff University, John Finch of Plymouth City Council and Dr Shirley Atkinson, Lecturer in Information Systems at the University of Plymouth.

The winning campaign

The winning campaign is a ‘Social Media Background Checker’ tool which is now LIVE on the students' own website. A poster raising awareness of the importance of online safety was launched in September 2016.
Congratulations to Callum Ansell, Stephen Fal, Max Gilmore, George Zaharescu and Jack Best, who all study BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Securitywith the University of Plymouth.