In a Connected World, We Must Protect Each Other’s Information
Consider all the systems you have access to: email accounts, bank accounts, social media accounts, insurance accounts, computers, phones. Everything you log into is a rich resource of information. Some of this information (e.g. social media) is mostly public. But other information – like our financial and medical data – is private. We expect organizations like our banks, hospitals and workplaces to store our data securely. And we expect that employees authorized to access our information will safeguard it by protecting their own credentials. And if *we* have access to institutional data? In a very real sense, the care we take with our own passwords affects our community. We all have a role to play in protecting our collective resources.
Yes, You Are a Target
Information security professionals fight cybercrime every minute, every day. They block attacks on networks, applications and hardware. They keep out infiltrators with sophisticated firewalls, authentication systems and tracking techniques. But they can’t protect systems if we fall prey to scams, malware, ransomware, phishing, and other sophisticated social engineering tactics. We are targeted by cyber criminals because our actions can give them access to protected computers, applications and accounts they can exploit. Hackers try to trick us out of our passwords because a little access goes a long way – no account is too small for a hacker to gain a foothold to access your computer or use your information for profit.
Become Cyber-Mindful and Defend Against Cybercrime
So, what can we, the targets, do?
- Be aware of the threats
- Ask questions
- Think before you click
- Report suspicious content
- Add protections to your devices
- Adopt safe-computing habits
- Know what to do if you get hacked