People can vote for as many essays as they choose, but only get one vote per essay. Students are encouraged to share their essay with friends and family or on social media to generate more votes. Only votes from the scholarship website will be considered. Only one essay per state will be chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship. 

Joshua Foster – Kenai Central High School

My generation is without excuse.  We live in a technology-laden world where access to almost anything is literally in the palms of our hands.  With these advancements comes a greater need for, and a greater sense of security.  My cell phone uses face ID and fingerprint matching to protect my personal information, and my online logins often come with two-step verifications.  As students, we are taught that for a website to be secure, it has to have certain characteristics such as a padlock by the address.  Sometimes the extra steps can feel bothersome, but for the most part, we have come to accept them as part of the cost of living in a digital world.  But I often wonder if it’s as safe as it’s claimed to be, or if we are becoming complacent to where we think we are perfectly protected?

When I reviewed the BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, I was honestly shocked!  Young people around my age think that we are at the top of our game when it comes to keeping our personal information secure, but clearly, we are at the greatest risk.  It’s concerning to know that my generation is the most susceptible to scams even though we have grown up in the most technologically advanced society.

There’s a problem that needs to be addressed so that we can steadily reduce the number of victims who fall into this category.  What we need to realize is that, even though we feel we are the most advanced when it comes to using technology, those who are working to claim us as victims are also keeping up on the latest tech so they can take advantage of us.  We need to be even more vigilant when it comes to protecting ourselves and those around us from falling victim to scams of all types.

When we shop online, we need to ensure that the website is verified and secure and that our payment information is kept safe and confidential.  When we enter the workforce after college, we need to remain vigilant in keeping our personal information secure by only using employment websites with proven security.

As I prepare to leave home this year, it will be my goal to keep my information secure so that I am not a victim of scams.  I will make sure that I always verify a website’s security before providing any personal information.  I will also limit the amount of information that is typically saved on websites by deleting payment profiles, even though it causes a future purchase to take a bit longer.  The world we live in is set at a fast pace where the goal of almost everything is to reduce the time spent and make your life easier.  Recognizing that this can come at a great cost is something I want to keep in the forefront of my mind so that I keep myself and those around me safe from falling victim to scammers. 

About BBB Northwest + Pacific Torch Talk

Torch Talk is an online and printed resource for both consumer and business news. It serves as a tool for businesses and consumers to learn more about the latest news and scam alerts, helpful business tips, BBB events and programs, and more. For more information or to subscribe, visit trust-bbb.org/torchtalk/.