The digital world is where everything is happening. It’s where we do business, get entertained, build a community, learn and connect with friends and family. But how often do we make the effort of cleaning our digital world and keeping it safe from threats? Hardly ever: is the answer. It is understandable that not everyone can be a hero and not everyone can train to be a CEH Course Holder(Certified Ethical Hacker) or a Digital Forensic Expert, but everyone can at least do their tiny little bits at the end of the day, so that we don’t have to wait for heroes to protect us. Here are the ways in which you can help all netizens to be secure, starting with yourself.
- Practice digital hygiene
Practicing online hygiene in your day to day Internet consumption is one of the most basic things you can do to keep cyber threats away. Whether it is browsing for entertainment or checking your mail, simple things like avoiding pirated websites or reporting suspicious emails can help reduce cyber attacks substantially. On our personal level, we must ensure that no matter what we do online, our behaviour should not aid the criminal hackers after all. This means that we should accept that it is, after all, our personal responsibility to practice basic internet hygiene like setting complex passwords, using multi-factor authentication, updating our applications and reviewing our privacy settings among other things.
- Encourage others to be cyber secure
It’s not just enough to be cyber secure ourselves, we must also encourage this behavior in those around us. We are all, in a way, digitally connected to each other. Therefore, ensuring others’ safety is essentially ensuring our own safety. For example, a virus in our colleague’s computer can travel to our own computer, if we are connected over the same network. Moreover, we can use our social media and other platforms to shed light on growing cyber attacks and spread awareness about being cyber secure. It takes very little effort to do so, but the effects are nothing less than extraordinary.
- Become a cybersecurity professional
The most direct way that you can make a difference is by becoming a cyber security professional yourself. Cybersecurity courses are designed in a way that anyone can learn them in a few days. A typical ethical hacking course takes about 40 hours to complete. By working as a cybersecurity professional, you can stop malicious hackers straight away and work as an antidote to cyber crime. There is a huge skill gap that the cybersecurity industry is facing and you can help lower that gap by becoming a cybersecurity professional.
- Call out the bad actors
Cyber attacks and threats are not that hard to find. They happen every few seconds somewhere in the world. If you come across any illegal activity, suspicious website, fraudulent email or even a spam message, don’t ignore it or look the other way. It just takes a few seconds to report it or call out the bad actor behind it. This small yet extremely important action can help discourage attackers and cyber bullies. So, next time you come across something that goes against cyber security, call it out, flag it, report it, tell your friends about it, and inform the cyber police immediately.
It is high time that we must open our eyes to the rising menace of cyber threats and understand the fact that it is everyone’s business to ensure security. Our digital world is all we have to rely upon for our day-to-day activities. Let’s make sure that we become aware netizens who are part of the solution to cyber security, rather than being ignorant consumers who are part of the problem.