What You Can Learn About Cybersecurity from a School’s “Super Hero Training” Program!
Malicious cyber attacks are becoming a large concern for almost everybody, and properly protecting yourself from such events is critical. The problem being, most business owners don’t know how to adequately protect themselves from being in harm’s way, as there has been no effective training provided to the general public.
Just as we execute practice drills for fires, natural disasters, and other important and dangerous events, we should be practicing drills for how to react in times of a cyber attack. Knowing how to prevent such malicious attacks is critical, especially in a day and age when even children are so technologically capable, and everyone participates in online activities.
Currently, the population is very uninformed on matters of cybersecurity, and although we are very well aware of the newest devices, most of us have no idea of how to use it safely. Over 95% of all breaches result from human error, so despite various claims stating that passwords and the need to obsess over security are a thing of the past, this simply isn’t true.
Many may be shocked to learn that the most common password on the internet in 2014 was 123456, with the runner up being simply, password. This is not conducive to a secure network environment, and weak passwords make it easy for potential intruders to gain access.
Statistics like this make it clear that the general population still has no idea as to the importance of cyber security, and has received no training as to how to implement it effectively.
The Need for Education
Something must be done about the lack of cyber security education that is available. It is important that the average user have knowledge of the basics that are crucial in protecting their reputation and keeping their internet activities secure. It all starts with teaching children, as by the time adults enter the work environment, bad habits have already formed.
School children today are very comfortable with, and very knowledgeable about, various gadgets and devices, including tablets, computers, mobile phones, and other items that include internet connectivity. Their knowledge of all things IT is astounding, and by teaching them the importance of cyber security, we are both preparing them for a life of technology based living and helping to make the internet a safer environment for the average user.
Some schools are starting to realize the importance of this education, after seeing what students are capable of in regards to the internet and technology. The experts at Crunch Network developed an all day cyber security training program to begin the education process, using a super hero theme to both interest and excite the participants.
Discussed below are six of the most important lessons from the training, aimed at helping students and faculty better understand the basics of cyber security. All business owners can learn a lot from these six lessons:
- Everything is Connected
Training begins by illustrating how everything is connected. The students were asked to show hands if a tablet, computer or smartphone was in the home, and not surprisingly every hand in the room was raised. It was explained that the first step for good cybersecurity practices was to identify all the various ways in which individuals and families are connected to the internet. Many are surprised when they stop to consider how many IP enabled devices are in one home.
- Password Strength
When the children were asked to share an example of a strong password, one replied by shouting out their secret code. This made it easy to draw focus to the importance of keeping passwords secret, as well as providing details on the components of a strong password. They were also taught the importance of not using personal details as passwords, such as pet names or family member names as those are easily discovered on social media.
Keep in mind, a strong password is compiled of a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols, and should be at least 8 characters long. Users should change their passwords on a regular basis.
A lesson was delivered on the importance of such things as lockscreens, screen time outs, and other such features. The Apple watch was used as an example to illustrate this, as the moment it is off the wrist it cannot be accessed by anybody. These features are an important part of cyber security, especially in an environment with a lot of people.
- Safe Clicking
Emphasis was put on the importance of safe clicking while on the internet. Many users will experience pop up ads and boxes that are misleading in nature. Cash, prizes, and other rewards are used to lure users, stating an immediate update is required in order to claim your prize. These sort of links should never be clicked, and the children were instructed to close the offending windows and go on.
The children were asked about their knowledge of phishing, and many responded with stories of fishing on the water, however; none were aware of what internet phishing or spear phishing was. Education was provided, teaching the students what phishing was all about, and instructing them that suspicious emails should never be opened or responded to, even if you think you’re certain who the sender was.
- Software Updates
Software updating is an important topic of discussion in regards to cyber security. Users need to be aware of the importance of software updates. Instruction also needs to be provided as to how to properly install and accept such updates. Updates should only be obtained from the company or program’s website, in order to ensure the updates do not contain any malware.
The superhero training brought to light the fact that providing this sort of basic training and preparedness helps to create a society of citizens who are fully aware of the risks and dangers associated with cyber activities, as well as how to best protect themselves from such risks, and how to handle situations once they occur.
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