New TikTok Initiative Launches to Increase Representation Among BIPOC Content Creators

by Xara Aziz
two young black women smiling happily while taking a selfie photo with the mobile phone, concept of fun and technology

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. population but only make up 14% of the information security industry. For people of color, that number drops to 3% of info security analysts in the industry, according to figures from the U.S. Labor Department.

It’s part of the reason why TikTok has officially launched the #SeeYourselfinCyber, an initiative aimed to close the gap between BIPOC and their racial counterparts. The program is designed to bring representation in the cybersecurity industry by diversifying, educating and empowering underrepresented groups and hopes to nurture a new generation of talents from a wide array of social, economic and racial backgrounds.  

“With over 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs unfilled across the fast-growing cybersecurity sector, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, TikTok is championing a new #SeeYourselfinCyber initiative from the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA),” said TikTok’s public relations team in a statement. “Whether connecting Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students to the cybersecurity job of their dreams or creating a new scholarship program through Cyversity, we’re committed to nurturing next-generation talent and helping under-represented minorities start or advance their career.”

The initiative is also creating new pathways for HBCU students through a new scholarship program called Cyversity. Through mentorship and educational programs, the organization works to maintain consistent representation of underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry.

“TikTok is helping us tackle the need for more cybersecurity professionals, specifically in the disproportionate underrepresentation of women and minority populations,” said Beverly Benson, Executive Director at Cyversity in a statement. “Individuals from underserved communities will be able to receive training for in-demand security roles through this innovative program.”

Learn more about how to stay safe and secure in cyberspace, read these tips provided by TikTok.

Always do the 2-step: Use caution when connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi. Set strong, unique passwords on all accounts, and enable 2-step verification for extra security.

Double check for typos: Emails, texts, or DMs from people you don’t know with spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors may be phishing or smishing attempts. Don’t click on suspicious links, report spam-like activity, and block these senders.

Be wary of fake offers: Look out for scammers posing as employers. Recruiters or hiring managers will use an email address that matches their company, and they won’t ask for personal information or money in exchange for securing an interview or being certified for a role.

Avoid public meeting links: Don’t post or share links to a virtual classroom on social media or other publicly available websites. Only make links available to specific attendees, and require a password or use the waiting room feature for the host to control who joins.

Protect everything connected: Enable automatic updates to protect your family’s smartphones, computers, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices from viruses and malware.

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