Cybersecurity 101

No one is safe in the digital world.   The experts are becoming more and more focused on personal protection and its defence as one of the best places to start in your digital World.    It’s not easy and their is the opinion out there that there are two types of people using the Internet – “the people who have been compromised and the people who don’t know that they have been compromised”
The cybersecurity mantra should be protect yourself at all costs.   This protection can be achieved in a number of ways.   Paranoia and common sense are probably the best place to start.    In addition to this, training is critical.    You need to learn what the dangers are and how and what is the best way to protect against them.
The bad guys are clever and persistent.   They are definitely after you and everything about you and that means that everyone is their target.  They consider everyone who uses the Internet either through straight access from computers and networks to mobile phones and tablets as fair game.    No one, business or multinational corporation is safe.   They are after you.  They are after the innocent, the unaware and the uneducated.   They do not care how old you are, how well educated you are or how much you understand the medium – YOU ARE A TARGET.
To protect yourself you have to be smarter and more persistent as well as better educated and a touch of paranoia is also good.   When the bad guys are after everything then it is not paranoia – I call it self preservation.
Here are 5 things that will help you in your fight!
All passwords you use on the Internet have to have the following characteristics. They have to be complicated, unique, more than 7 characters long and easy to remember.   Each site you create a password for has to be different.
Technology  is only as good as the way you use it.    If you have the latest and greatest firewall protecting your home but you allow all ports access to computer then you will be attacked.   If you have the best and latest operating system but do not apply the security updates to it then you are endangering yourself
Anti Virus
All systems that connect to the Internet need to have some level of protection that will allow them to be protected against malware, spyware and viruses.   A compromised, well known site like ninemsn for instance could infect millions of mobile phones and tablets before it is discovered and rectified.   In that time a virus could do major damage to you and your Internet reputation.
Common sense
When using the Internet use common sense as a primary weapon.   That splash screen that says the site is infected or has an outdated security key is not there just to annoy you it is there in an attempt to protect you.    Also, on the Internet, nothing is free.   Peer to peer products are the primary way for cyber criminals to gain access to your device.   Downloading movies, applications and music is a recipe for compromise and the first level in a concerted attack on your personal data.
Self preservation
Yes the bad guys are after you.   They will use every means and system that they can to gain some of your information.   It starts with a simple thing and can lay both your digital and your real life bear.   It can turn your life upside down and in some cases you can loose everything.   In the arena of self preservation do some sort of course – a basic cyber security awareness course is a good start.   Here is one I prepared earlier.
If you protect yourself then you will inadvertently help the business that you work in.

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.