Internet Safety & Security

Cybersecurity?  That’s all about big corporations and the government, or the military, right?  Quite often when I tell someone that I’m working on my master’s degree in cybersecurity, those are the kind of questions I get in return.  What they don’t realize is that cybersecurity is for everyone, especially in today’s technologically enhanced world.  Computers are smaller, faster, and more capable than ever before, and they’re everywhere.  Fortunately, security isn’t really as complicated as some may think and just learning some of the basics will pay big dividends.  Additionally, the basic principles of security are essentially the same, no matter the size of the network.  Over the next few months, I’ll write about those security fundamentals that can apply to all networks, with a focus on home and small business networks.

I don’t blame anyone for their misconceptions about cybersecurity.  The world of computer technology is a pretty daunting beast when you step back and look at everything it involves.  That, compounded by the ever accelerating rate of change, is enough to intimidate anyone.  After all, the average computer user just wants a device they can access, easily use for whatever tasks they need, and put away when they’re done—just like we do with kitchen appliances.  We’re not quite to that point just yet, but I think we’re making strides in that direction.  In order to get there, developers need to make security features seamless, not optional, and not something that requires extensive care and feeding by the user.  If something requires extra time and effort, or is too complicated and confusing, many people just won’t do it.  In the meantime, we’ve got to make sure those basic security chores are getting done.

So, what can we do and how do we get started?  Just as in the corporate world, user training and awareness are key.  A quick Google search will show that there are plenty of resources out there to help out.  The National Cybersecurity Alliance is one very good example.  They offer resources to help people with privacy, online safety, and keeping their businesses secure.  They partner with the Department of Homeland Security in the STOP.THINK.CONNECT Campaign and they also have a program which enables anyone to become a “Champion of Cybersecurity Awareness Month” which is every October.  These sites are a great starting point and offer tons of resources to help out with the basics of cybersecurity.  In my next post, I’ll dig into those basics.

National Cybersecurity Alliance

https://staysafeonline.org/

National Cyber Awareness System (DHS/CISA)

https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/

Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign.

https://www.cisa.gov/stopthinkconnect

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