In a world that revolves around the internet, danger is just a keystroke away. One Pflugerville boy is leading the way when it comes to global cyber-security awareness.
11-year-old Reuben Paul is your typical little boy. He likes magic tricks, he likes to read and he's an avid Harry Potter fan. He takes gymnastics, kung-fu, swimming and he loves computers and the internet.
But unlike other little boys, Reuben is internationally known as the future of cyber-security.
Reuben's dad is a cyber-security expert and found his young son also had a knack for it.
Since he was 7-years-old, Reuben has been giving presentations to seasoned cyber-security veterans, traveling the world to talk about the latest ways to keep yourself cyber-safe.
This young man is an expert at discovering how any item connected to the internet can be hacked and used to spy on or hurt people.
"It's a wide range of devices from airplanes to automobiles, smartphones to smart homes," he explained.
He proved his point using a cuddly bear during a presentation last month, stunning infosec experts in the Netherlands.
"For my demonstration, I hacked an IOT smart toy and showed how easy it is, that somebody can stand outside your home and then connect to the bear and then record everything you say," Reuben said.
Reuben wants to make sure everyone benefits from his knowledge."Basic security knowledge like default passwords and open ports and securing your firewalls is very important because that's what's most vulnerable," he explained.
He's started a free, non-profit website called CyberShaolin where videos teach kids and adults about being cyber-safe.
"As technology move on, kids in my generation are starting to use more of this technology like new phones, new apps and new toys," Reuben said. "We need to be safe and secure and it's always right."
Reuben says anyone who uses the internet should always remember what he calls "the 3 T's" of cyber security:
- Don't talk: Don't give out too much personal info.
- Don't take: Don't accept anything from anyone in the cyber world because everyone is a stranger.
- Don't trust: Don't trust anyone you don't know because you can get socially engineered.