Please find below details for the DuoCircle.com Scholarships program.

We are an email security company designed from the ground up to provide all the features that an enterprise would expect but priced for small and medium businesses.

We also offer phishing prevention solutions for enterprises and universities at phishprotection.com

Our core values are:

  • Explaining technical details to non-technical customers is our duty. Everyone should understand how the service works and should feel comfortable approaching us for even “minor” issues.
  • We will be approachable, transparent and forthcoming with both the good and the bad news we that we share.
  • Deliver value that exceeds the amount that the customer is spending on our service.

We have a very security-focused approach to message handling and ensuring the deliverability, security, privacy of every message and every customer is our mission.

Our customers stick with us because we have the most commonly requested features for business to help them secure their email communications from Malware, Ransomware and Phishing through a range of services like Outbound SMTP ServersPhishing Protection, Email Archiving Solutions and our branded Advanced Threat Defense solution. Our no-nonsense approach keeps our customers happy and our team driven to excellence.

This is first time DuoCircle has offered a scholarship program.

Eligibility:

The applicants need to be presently studying/enrolled in high school or college/university situated anywhere in the world.

There is, however, no restriction on major/minor. All can apply.

The applicant will need a GPA of 3.5 weighted or higher.

Award

DuoCircle.com is offering $1000 scholarship.

How to Apply

We’re looking for a 1500-word essay or 2-minute video on why email is so important.

Prompts

  • What is the motivation for phishing and how can we address the underlying causes?
  • What will change in the next 10 years as it relates to messaging and email?
  • How would you teach the older generations how to spot an online scam or phishing attempt?
  • How would you explain to a 10 year old the concept of privacy and not over sharing on the Internet?

Requirements

  • Current year grades and transcript
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Current letter of acceptance or letter of enrollment from an accredited University, Trade School or Community College.
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Facebook / Instagram / Twitter links
  • Name and contact details

Once you are ready with the details, please send an mail to: scholarship@duocircle.com

Deadline:

Applications for the 2019, DuoCircle Scholarships program will be accepted between midnight, July 15, 2019. The Winner will be announced on August 15, 2019.

 

Press Release announcing results is here.

 

Results of Scholarship Program

The Sponsorship Winner Has Been Announced and Informed. A big thank you to all participants!

The winner of the first DuoCircle scholarship is a student at Brigham Young University, majoring in computer science. The student created this YouTube video teaching older folks how to prevent phishing attacks.

 

 

Here are some extracts for sample entries for the DuoCirlce Scholarship.

Entry 1 Essay from a student at the University of Arizona

The older generation did not grow up with technology and has seen a great many changes happen throughout their lifetime. The rapid pace of change throughout their lifetime may have left some people overwhelmed and left behind, especially in the past two decades. Even some young people such as myself feel dizzy amongst the current of change. Email as we know it has been around since 1971. It has evolved to a more graphic user-friendly look, and gained ability to attach documents, pictures, and even viruses. Spam is defined as irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients. A virus is a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data. It can hurt your computer and expose your personal information without your consent.

Phishing is defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Never ever give your personal information over email.

How can we all keep safe in this era of fast evolving technology and over information? How do you know what is safe and what is not?

First, see who the email is from. Do you know their name? Do you have business with their company? After the @ mark, companyname.com is the regular format. Check the company name as you hover your mouse over the sender. If it is not someone you recognize, or if it is spelled strangely, do not bother.

 Second, make sure the email was directly sent to you. If an email was sent to many people, the message does not have the indicator in indicator. Depending on what type of email system you are using, the symbols are different, but be on the lookout for direct emails versus non direct ones.

Third, is it asking for money or gift cards? Is it asking you to give your personal information? If this is the case, do not send money or gift cards or any personal information. Is this a person you know in real life? If the intent, origin and action asked for is unclear, you can report the message.

Fourth, is it asking you to take action immediately? In the age of telephone calls and text, it expected that emails are used for non-urgent matters that may take up to 24 hours. If something asks you to take immediate action, always be suspicious who is sending the email and which company they represent and what their relationship is with you. Do not engage. If it is truly important, most companies will use multiple methods to contact you using phone or traditional post mail.

Fifth, check the grammar, spelling, punctuation and professionality of the email. Many scammers or phishers have poor grammar, misspellings, punctuations and the email looks unprofessional. This is just a guideline, as many phishers and scammers can create legitimate looking emails.

Sixth, google search “scam phishing email” and compare it with yours. Do they have similar elements? Are the antics similar? Use common sense and good judgement to compare the email with multiple samples of others.

Seventh, is there an attachment? If there is an attachment, it could be a virus. Do not open it or click on it. As a general rule of thumb, if it is not an email from a trusted organization (such as a business you support) or a personal friend, do not open it. Instead, report it by clicking marking spam or phishing if your email security service allows it.

So, what should you do if you receive a phishing email? If it looks suspicious, do not open it. If you do open it, do not download anything attached to the email. Many viruses are attachments that alter the function of your computer. Also, do not reply to it. Nobody should be asking your passwords ever, or credit card information over email, ever. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the FTC at spam@uce.gov and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org .

Through these cautions, we can practice safe email practices with evolving times.

 

Entry 2 Essay from student at the University of Arizona

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the development and growing popularity of the Internet forever changed information and communication technologies. With its development, and the subsequent invention of email, written messages could be transmitted and received in a much shorter amount of time than before. By the late 1990s and into the 2000s, email became one of the most popular methods of communication, surpassing fax machines as the primary business communication tool. At this point, many people own a computer and have a personal email account and regularly send and receive emails from friends or family. Unfortunately, this paved the way for people with malicious intent to easily send unwanted emails, such as spam or phishing attempts, to be mass sent to hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. Due to the fact that email has been so widely used, phishing has become a very serious problem for many people.

Phishing and hacking are the two most common ways that people with malicious intent can access personal information. Phishing, much like hacking, can lead to many security risks by abusing and manipulating exploits to gain access to sensitive information. Phishing tends to focus more into tricking people into willingly giving up their personal information, while hacking tends to focus on exploiting the system itself to gain access to this information. While both hacking and phishing are often illegal methods of gaining personal information, phishing has the potential to be both more serious and harder to prevent than hacking. This is due to the fact that if a computer system or server is hacked, the managers of the server are alerted comparatively faster than phishing, so the problem can be addressed faster. A malicious email can sometimes appear as a regular email, so a person who falls for the trick of the phished email might not notice and the event goes by unnoticed. Another reason why phishing can be harder to prevent than hacking is because, while security exploits can be fixed and make hacking harder, phishing is rooted in social engineering and plays to the victim’s weaknesses, rather than a computer’s. People in general are less reliable and vigilant than computers and are much easier to manipulate than a computer. Phishing therefore presents a larger and more difficult problem to solve than hacking.

The vast majority of phishers have only one goal: to gain as much money as easily as possible without respect to laws or morality. These people realize that the “path of least resistance” is through gullible people that are willing to unsuspectingly send information to them, and who also realize that email provides a cheap and easy way to contact thousands of people at a time in order to find an over trusting individual who will fall victim to their trap. Over time, these phishers have grown more undetectable and covert. Phishers nowadays can create a fake website that looks and feels like a familiar website to the user. In reality, it can be a trap meant to make the victim input their email, username, password, and other sensitive information inadvertently. While it can be easy to dismiss someone who falls for a Nigerian Prince scam as naive or gullible, even the most eagle-eyed people can still sometimes fall for a fake website asking for their email and password information, unknowingly sending that data to an unknown source. In reality, these “gullible people” that are targeted are not naive or over trusting, but are usually simply unobservant or inattentive, even if temporarily.

This can make phishing seem like quite the lucrative business. By sending out a mass email and by quickly creating a website, one can have people unintentionally disclose their personal information, which can quickly lead to discovering sensitive information, for example their bank account password or their Social Security number. Not only that, but there are many anonymizing services available that can hide or obscure one’s identity online, which makes tracking down phishers difficult, if not impossible. This is the main motivation that phishers operate on. Unscrupulous individuals and people of questionable morals are drawn to this kind of lifestyle of low risk and high reward.

The most basic underlying cause of phishing, among other crimes, is greed. Phishers, much like hackers, thieves, bank robbers, and other criminals, are driven by a need to have as much wealth as possible, suspending morals and laws if needed. Since phishers deal in data such as bank account information, they can either sell that information for a profit or can hack it directly to gain access to the victim’s assets. Though human nature is sometimes difficult to predict, in this case it is a simple equation. If the amount of wealth gained by committing a crime is worth more than the risk it takes to do the crime, then such people will commit the crime every time. Therefore, the only ways to lower the amount of phishing attempts that take place are to disrupt the underlying causes that make up the equation; that is, to either decrease the amount of money or information that can be gained from the venture, or to increase the risk involved in participating in phishing.

To decrease the amount of profit, either financial profit or informational profit, phishers must have less access to people who will fall to their schemes, whatever that might be. This is can be accomplished by either having people in general be more cautious about the websites they view and put information into, or by decreasing the amount of emails that phishers have access to. Since many phishers learn about a potential victim’s email address by seemingly harmless ways, such as a person signing up for a newsletter, both solutions can be condensed into one: by teaching people the importance of phishing protection and proper prevention from a potential phisher. If more people learn about how to keep email addresses more private, such as not being careless and giving away one’s email address to whomever asks for it, phishers will have a lower pool of potential victims, making it harder to find people to fall victim to them. Additionally, by teaching people how to identify a real website from a fake one, less people will fall for the scam that the phisher proposes, again decreasing the amount of people who will ultimately fall victim to the phisher. Since proper phishing education decreases the amount of victims that a phisher can receive, fewer people will try to attempt to phish people because, overall, the amount of financial and informational profit that a phisher will receive will be less than before.

The other method of deterring phishers by their underlying cause is by increasing the risk associated with participating in phishing. This can be accomplished by creating stricter laws that severely increase the punishments for people who phish. Although laws exist in many places to specifically combat phishing, in the United States there is no federal law against phishing in particular and most states have no law against it. Since in many places in the US no law exists specifically about phishing, some people decide to phish because they are not worried about any punishment that is received. If a comprehensive, strict law was to be put in place that mentioned phishing specifically, many people would worry about potential punishments and decide not to phish, deterring several would-be phishers. Additionally, more efforts could go into tracking down phishers individually and putting a stop to them in places where phishing is illegal. For example, several phishers have a scam in which they send a potential victim an email pretending to be a bank and alerting them that their account could be at risk. This email would include a link to the bank’s website, but in reality contains a link to a phisher’s website that looks identical to the bank’s website. The victim would unwittingly put their personal information into the phisher’s website, giving the phisher full control of this person’s bank account. This can be stopped if the victim alerts the proper authorities, such as the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), about the fraudulent website. Since most phishers work alone, these websites are either hosted on an external server, which can be easily taken down, or by hosting the website themselves, which can be easily taken down and reveals the real life location of the phisher.

Both proper education and increased security can help deter potential phishers from attempting to access one’s personal information. By addressing the underlying causes of phishing by increasing the risk of phishing and decreasing the profit associated with phishing, less phishers will have motivation to phish, greatly decreasing the amount of spam and malicious emails that these people send. However, this will not deter every person who attempts phishing. In reality, phishing can never be one hundred percent eliminated, it can only be decreased and managed at a reasonable level. To better deal with phishing attempts, it is necessary to use an external program that manually checks emails and SMTP service for verifiability and alerts its user if an email or link appears to be phished. Although there are many ways to decrease the amount of phishing attempts, the most effective ways are the ones that deal with the fundamental causes that phishers have: decreasing their profit, and increasing their risk.

 

Entry 3 Essay from a student at the Missouri University of Science and Technology

In variety of possibilities for online communication, email is still the basic way of a professional communication. The reason for that can be found in already determined way of expressing respect at the beginning of each email, such as “Mr. Mark” or “Mrs. Ivory”, which is frequently used in communication between students and professors, professional partners, etc. Another good side of email is that people can send many types of documents that can be attached to the email. Furthermore, email is one of the best sources for doing so. Many applications, such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) applications that have similar features, but they cannot provide ability to send all types of documents that email can, the size of documents that are being sent must be much smaller than when it is being sent by email, and the quality of any document is being reduced if sent via VoIP applications, which with email is not the case. On top of all of that, when a user wants to attach a document to the message, it is much easier to do it by email since there is an automatic option that will take a user to his documents and he can simply press the document that needs to be sent. On the other side, many of the VoIP applications do not have that feature and users must go to their data collection first and then choose a document that needs to be shared by certain application. It is obvious that using email is a much simpler and better way to send any type of a file. When a user is creating an email account with hosted email provider, he/she is required to provide information such as name, last name, date of birth, gander. On the other hand, VoIP applications require an access to all the contacts of the user, which can be used to disturb users from the contact list. All these facts increase the importance of the email. Another importance of email is that it has access to a user’s search list. That is being used to filter information that are being represented to the user, which means that the user will get information that he/she would find interesting. Now, technology has changed a lot in last twenty years and importance of email has been increasing each year. Today, without email, people cannot even use their phones, Android or IOS, because they must create user account to which their phones will be connected. A beauty of email is that it is multifunctional. Besides the fact that it makes people available to others and that it is a great way of communication, email can also be used as a data storage because the amount of memory that is in each account is increasing each day and users do not have to worry about storage memory. For instance, some people create email account using information of their just born children in order to collect all photos and videos of child’s childhood. Another good side of this is that all that data that is being stored in the account is arranged chronologically, which makes it easier to follow or search for certain data. Hence, when the kid grows up, parents would give him/her the account information and the kid could see photos and videos from his/her own childhood.

Email phishing is a modern way of a burglar. The main motivation for email phishing is money, getting access to surveillance needed for espionage, or theft of an intellectual property. There are many ways that hackers can gain information about a user. The most frequent and the most dangerous and direct way of phishing are fake emails that look like an important and serious ones. For instance, hackers often create emails to gain information about the user’s workplace or other important areas of their lives that they can use later. Hackers can send out email about lottery or giveaways that require bank account information or some other personal information about the user in order for user to get the reward, which could make user send personal information to the hacker. Another example is when hackers have already gained some information about the victim and they send out a fake email from the user’s workplace that requires confirming some important information such as passwords, birthdates, credit cards, and social security numbers. Hackers can also use the email to find out the user’s current location because the email has access to the applications that can detect user’s location. Therefore, that makes the user’s home vulnerable. On the other side, email has its own security checks. Whenever a user wants to login his/her account from a device that has never been used for that email, the user will be notified on a phone number that his email account is accessed from a new device and will be asked if it was him/her in order to see if someone was breaking in the account. However, it is still not being considered the safest way of communication because of the MITM (Man in The Middle) attacks, which represent the insertion of a hacker into a communication between two users. Because of such cases, some users do not like using email for sending important information. In my case, when I wanted to get the letter of acceptance from my school that is required for this scholarship, the school representatives were not allowed to send it via email. They had to send it via fax machine that I do not have and which barely anyone use nowadays.

When it comes to older people who are not very familiar with new technology, I would advise them to ask someone with experience to check if the email is fake or not. However, if they are willing to learn and put effort in recognizing fake from real emails, I would advise them to learn to recognize if the email prompts them to click on a link that will take them to the business’s website or if the email prompts them to reply with personal information. Those kinds of emails are basic phishing emails. If the older person is still not sure if the email is phishing attempt, that person should find the company’s trusted phone number and ask them about the email that was received by them. Furthermore, the email user can simply go to the official website of the company that claims to be sending the email and see if the information such as phone numbers and address match. If they do, it is less likely to be a phishing attempt. However, I would still make a call and make sure that it is not phishing attempt.

When it comes to younger generations, they are without experience, naïve, and willing to do whatever it takes in order to get what they want. If I wanted to explain to a child a privacy policy and not over sharing on the internet, first, I would have to show them what happens if they do the wrong thing. For instance, I would show them cartoons created for such cases. If a main cartoon character shared his information on social media and on email freely, he would end up broke, his personal information was stolen and used against him. He lost everything that he worked for his whole life. He does not have enough money to support his family anymore. Hard period is ahead of him. Such a cartoon would stay in children’s minds and they would think about how it happened. Then, I would show them what not to do so situations like the one from the cartoon do not happen. They would have to learn that they should not share their personal information by any social media or email. They should not even share their current location because that will be a sign for thieves that their home is empty and ready to be robbed. When they realize that sharing private information online is dangerous, they are at a good beginning of creating an idea in their minds about what a concept of privacy means and how important it is. They will know that they should not share their personal information and that is what they should skip every time if they are asked via email if it is not confirmed by someone with experience that it is safe to do so.

It is very hard to say what will change in the next ten years about anything that has to do with technology because technology is changing each day in different directions because inventors have many different ideas that are becoming very popular. Therefore, I could only say what my anticipations about messaging and email in next ten years are. It would be great if technology would be developed to the level where a user does not have to type but speak to the computer what to type and then tell it to send it to a certain person. Also, it would be great if they would invent air touch screens that can pop out from user’s watch so he can answer or read incoming emails with ease at any place.

 

Entry 4 Essay from high school student

As I ponder the progress of the technological world, it’s perplexing how one concept so familiar to a younger generation appears foreign to an older age. While some advancements are deemed “unnecessary” and “worthless” to those unwilling to change the ways in which they’ve followed since youth, some technology is recognized as efficient and has the ability to make the lives of both the elderly and young less complicated. Communication, a topic often worked upon by the engineers of technology today, has progressed from written letters delivered by horses to online letters sent by a click of a button. Since its invention in 1972, electronic mail or “email” has proved to a range of generations that correspondence doesn’t have to be prolonged as one waits for a reply from the faraway friend, yet rather may be effective as one can not only deliver a message from the computer to a variety of people, but has the ability to send the message on a phone while riding the subway, traveling in the car, or enjoying the outdoor sun on a porch. In short, opportunities for all generations have been opened as people have the ability to stay in touch no matter what ends of the earth they travel to or receive a quick response from their colleagues in order to effectively run a business. While the benefits of email include quick communication and connection across our massive world, one must be watchful of the younger generation as new children grow up with the concept that email has always existed. In this, these youth must be reminded the pros of using electronic correspondence while being cautioned against those that abuse the gift and privilege that this type of communication provides. Therefore, in explaining to a 10 year old the blessing of email, one must mention privacy and “not oversharing” to protect their identities and futures.

Electronic correspondence provides a chance for information such as transcripts, bank statements, and personal information to be transmitted to a recipient chosen by the sender. While this provides easy communication and numerous benefits such as the ability to budget your money and discuss future opportunities with colleges, a new user, like a younger child, must be aware that those who abuse email exist. These people seek to gain by using other’s personal information. Whether it is identity theft, money theft, or threatening one by use of hacking, one must be cautious of what they send out online. In short, in order to communicate this idea to a 10 year old youth, I would phrase my warning such as the following, “Email is awesome! But just like with every blessing of the internet, it’s important to be careful. Just how when we talk to others, it is important to remember their feelings and not say things we regret. The same is true online; we need to be careful about what we show online to protect others and ourselves. So before you send an email, think, would I show my grandmother this email or does this email have important information that shouldn’t be shared? If you aren’t sure, ask a trusted adult! They are there to look out for you.” In phrasing a word of caution as such above, one has the ability to provide a warning while not going into too much detail as to lose the attention of the child and therefore, risk having them not understand the importance of what is said. In this, every age is allowed to embrace quick, reliable communication without the threat of losing an identity to an online hacker.

All in all, email is a great way to start a future as it provides access to college admissions offices as well as communication to work. While the future sometimes seems far off for a 10 year old and as something that can be considered later, one must remind them that as a child, they still have to be responsible online so as not to ruin future chances which they may regret. In reminding a 10 year old about the association of email and their future, one could state, “No only does email allows us to communicate with our friends who may not live near us anymore, however, it also is a tool for the future. It is important to remember to only use your email is appropriate manners, such as fun correspondences with our friends. If you don’t think what you are sending on email is okay, remember that I’m asking you to be careful, not just to save you from consequences now, but to also protect you later. You have big dreams, right? Than it is important to be careful so we can make all those dreams come true!” In phrasing a response in this manner, one is able to relate to the child’s dreams while also cautioning against those who wish to exploit those who use the benefits of email. It is never too early to start thinking about your future, and although a child may not realize it, email, when used correctly and safely, has the capability to be a wonderful asset.

In conclusion, electronic messaging is a tool that can be utilized by every generation in order to communicate across the world, share thoughts and ideas with a boss, and get in touch with the people that can make dreams a possibility. As the age of technology expands, email itself is central to the ever easier lives that one may lead based on technology. One of the best parts of email is its simplicity to use for multiple causes and therefore, one must be cautious that while this allows for many benefits, it also allows for weaknesses, especially in younger generations who are used to doing everything online and are not quite sure how blessed their technological worlds are today. In reminding a 10 year old of the matter of privacy and not over sharing online, one may be able to eliminate the negative consequences of email and focus on the benefits it brings to today’s society. In the end, email remains such an importance in our society as to provides a connection to the people across the globe. Through quick, effective correspondence, people have the ability to realize that in the end, although they are spread across the world, they are all still human. With the connection provided through technology, especially email, the world becomes smaller as the realization that it is the job of every human to look out for others. Therefore, the importance of email lies in its ability to connect everyone across the world, and as long as the safety of email is communicated to the younger generation, email can continue to be a gift to humanity.

Entry 5 Video from a student at Brigham Young University

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