Cyber Hygiene 101: An Intro to Protecting Everything

By Charles Duckett | September 20 2018

For those of you headed back to school as students, school administrators, or as faculty there are several pressing matters in your personal cybersecurity to resolve. Already the dread of more menial tasks from the minutia of school seems overbearing but neglecting these tasks can prove absolute ruinous to your financial future. Losing the financial security from years of academic toil we all crave so much over the neglect of simple security measure would be devastating. So, make your bed, eat some breakfast, resolve these cybersecurity measures, and carry on with the rest of your life. 

What are these cybersecurity measures that need resolve? Well, that depends on the connectivity of the individual to the internet, but for the sake of simplicity let us examine the typical young adult. This individual’s connectivity can be assuredly higher than other demographics considering this individual is in the millennial generation that exploits much of technology for social purposes. Most, if not a glaring majority, have multiple social media accounts including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. There are also reasons to assume that this individual might have multiple emails considering schools of higher learning and a degree of high schools assign emails on top of the personal emails that people typically have. This individual is also prone to be very active on the web, downloading movies, playing video games, torrent downloading, and other semi-legal activity that we don’t condone here at Domain5 but nevertheless proves itself to be reality. 

Now that we have established the approximate surface area of the individual’s connection to the internet we should consider the risks posed by this surface area and how that might lead to deeper penetration by unwanted intruders. For starters, this individual must examine their passwords for all their accounts and determine whether this password is legitimately the safest option possible. The reason why one should continuously change and validate whether their passwords are secure is because it is simply not enough to trust in your service provider you are using to protect your information. This goes especially for school emails, social media accounts, and virtually everything else that requires a password. Schools are very prone to attack since they have multitudes of information on hundreds of thousands of individuals at a time and it only takes one exposed device or software in their enterprise to compromise everyone. Social media accounts also shouldn’t be trusted although they do put up defenses in resolving compromises. Again, this goes for all accounts that are in some way connected to the internet. 

As for visiting and using the social media accounts previously mentioned, one should make an effort to not use them in a way that would give them your information. Especially if it’s information that you would otherwise not agree to had you known their intentions. For one, most if not all activity you perform on their platforms is their property, not yours. Tread carefully and be careful not to expose information such as Social Security numbers or any other PII (personal identifiable information) through activities such as Snapchat messenger or even Facebook messenger. Keep all valuable information out of their filters as much as possible. It is within their business interests for you to divulge this information so that they may sell it to advertisers. 

As for the persistent web surfer there are a few things to heed before diving into random websites. If your computer has any valuables on it or is of any value to you, we highly recommend that you heed these warnings and take steps to ensure safety while browsing. Some steps might be exaggerated for your personal taste but nonetheless they don’t hurt. If you spend any time downloading torrents or movies alike, please encrypt and block your IP address. Encryption helps to secure connection without predators lurking on the site from attacking. IP addresses daze and confuse potential hackers as well. As for casual web surfer we recommend clearing all browsing data as much as possible so that compromised enterprises don’t have access, in which case you wouldn’t even see it coming. Saving passwords on the web browser is also not the best of ideas since that can easily be compromised. Every person using the internet should also have some sort of firewall or malware scanner that continuously tries to root out invasive code from your computer as well as fends it off. 

If you have taken most if not all of these steps based on your usage of the internet and applications connected to it then you are ready to take on the vices of the internet. Health is not just measured strength but in protection as well. We wish all who are going back to school a safe a studious year, but most of all a healthy year. 

 

About Domain5: 

Domain5 is committed to providing support to companies at an effective return on cybersecurity investment (ROIC). Our support extends to risk assessment of current networks, information security, compliance advise, and a part-time chief information security officer that is flexible to any business demand large or small. Domain5 indivisibly recognizes the absolute necessity of maintaining cybersecurity awareness while simultaneously compensating for effective allocation of resources in any financial situation. 

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