ACCORDING to a recent Harris Poll, data breaches of personal and corporate computers increased 23 percent from 2013 to 2014—but fortunately, most people have changed their online behavior to protect themselves.
What’s being done
The survey by University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology found 46 percent of those surveyed are not conducting transactions on a shared computer and 35 percent are changing passwords more often, not giving out personal information online, and not using public Wi-Fi. “Our daily tasks have become inextricably linked to online activity and, as a result, so too will our exposure to information security vulnerabilities,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean for University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology.
What you can do
According to Bonilla, to protect yourself online, you should:
1. Select quality passwords and change them often. Passwords are the easiest way for thieves to access accounts that hold important information stored on the Web. To make it harder for them to access, use passwords that combine letters, numbers and characters.
2. Beware of e-mails from people you don’t know. Be especially careful of e-mails with attachments and links. These e-mails may contain viruses and malware that give cybercriminals access to your computer.
3. Always use a firewall and keep it up to date. These block viruses. Most computers and software come with a firewall already installed. If not, there are many free programs available.
4. Don’t give out personal information online. Most organizations won’t ask you to do so. If you get something questionable, ask the organization to verify the e-mail’s or request’s authenticity.
5. Make sure the browser is secure. When providing any credit card or other financial information online, look for the lock in your browser. The padlock indicates a secure connection protected by encryption technology.
In addition, the study discovered, nearly all U.S. adults polled say the public and private sectors should invest in more cybersecurity technology or personnel. In fact, experts estimate another 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals will be needed in the next five years.
“Higher education institutions must work with industry leaders to meet the workforce demand by attracting a broader pool of candidates into the field and providing them with innovative curriculum that is aligned with industry standards,” stated Bonilla. “At University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology, we are working to accomplish this by offering a number of cybersecurity certificate programs that can be taken stand alone or en route with an IT degree.”
The College offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Providing innovative digital learning tools developed to suit all learning styles, the College focuses on building technical knowledge and its successful application to real-world business environments.
For more information, visit phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment and www.phoenix.edu/technology.
North American Precis Syndicate