How to stay cyber-safe amid the pandemic

Wilson Community College, in partnership with Greenlight and Gig East, is hosting a free virtual event next week, and anyone is welcome to attend. In fact, this is the third time we’ve partnered with these agencies to host an event of this nature.

“Cyber Safe in the Gigabit City v3.0: Cyber Safe in a Pandemic” is set for Thursday, Oct. 7, from 10-11:30 a.m.  You’ll get to hear from a panel of local business and industry experts about how COVID-19 has changed technology and information security.

“This is our third Cyber Safe in the Gigabit City event, and I believe it’s our most important one to date,” said Wes Hill, WCC’s dean of business and applied technologies. “Cyber-criminals are preying on businesses and users. They are taking advantage of a worldwide pandemic to attempt to gain access to personal and financial information and everything in between.”

And that’s exactly what we will focus on for this event — cybersecurity.

“The coronavirus pandemic has increased the amount of remote working and learning, and thus there has been a dramatic increase in cyberattacks. It is more important than ever for everyone to learn what mitigation measures they can take,” said Kendra Faulkner, WCC networking technology instructor.

Check this out:

• According to Malwarebytes, a leading PC security software company, one out of every five businesses in the United States fell victim to a cyberattack while employees worked from home.

• There’s been a 400% increase of cyberattack complaints to the FBI since the beginning of the pandemic.

• More than half a million Zoom accounts have been made available and public to the “dark webs” due to data breaches during the past 18 months.

This year’s keynote speaker is Mark Ciampa, information systems professor at Western Kentucky University. Ciampa has authored more than 25 technology textbooks, published more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is a reviewer for security journals.

Ciampa is a frequent speaker at regional and national publisher events and writes a weekly blog on security that currently has a readership of more than 10,000 followers. He serves as a consultant for schools around the country on security and technology curriculum.

Our panelists include: Michael Bowden, instructor and Cisco Academy support specialist, Stanly Community College; Joshua Edwards, information services server analyst, Wilson Medical Center; Flavio Guzman, IT student, Wilson Academy of Applied Technology; and Ashley Harris, exchange community manager, city of Wilson. Panelists will expand on numerous cybersecurity topics. And there will also be time for virtual attendees to ask questions.

With all of their expertise, you’re sure to walk away with so much great information and a new perspective on being cyber-safe.

We’re so thankful for Greenlight and Gig East because none of this would be possible without them — true assets to Wilson! 

“Greenlight is excited to continue our partnership with Wilson Community College to highlight the importance of cybersecurity in our everyday lives,” said General Manager Will Aycock. “This event is another example of how Wilson works as a team for the betterment of our community and region.”

Register at

If you would like more information on the event or the information technology – networking and cybersecurity program, contact Kendra Faulkner at, or Wes Hill at #WilsonCC — we make Wilson work.


• Oct. 6 — Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Eagles Center.

• Oct. 7 — Cyber Safe in the Gigabit City virtual event.

• Oct. 7 — New student orientation and nursing information session, both online.

• Oct. 11-12 — Fall break.

• Oct. 13 — Registration for second eight-week fall courses.

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Severe Weather Alert

Due to the threat of severe weather, the college will be closed on Friday, September 7, 2023.