Required fields are indicated by .

Strengthen Your Cyber Defenses!

Imagine locking your home with a two-digit combination code lock. How many tries would it take someone to unlock it? Or imagine placing a large sign on your street corner with your name and describing your excitement for your upcoming vacation in Hawaii. How do you feel about this?

Security and safety over the internet share many similarities with how we approach it in our everyday physical environment. In both, we aim to safeguard confidential information and belongings and allowing only those whom we trust access to these. In VCC's Network Security and IT Operations programs these are some of the skills you will learn. 

Here are five quick tips to help you get started in fortifying your online information:

  1. Use a strong and lengthy passphrase, and do not reuse passwords. Even better, use a secure password manager (for example, BitWarden, KeePass, or 1Password) that generates, secures, and auto-fills the login information for you.
  2. Set up app-based two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever available, for example, with your financial institutions and e-mail accounts. This will prompt for additional verification through another channel, such as an app on your smartphone. Some popular 2FA apps are: Aegis, Authenticator Pro, and andOTP for Android, and Authenticator, Tofu, and Raivo OTP for iOS.
  3. Be selective in what information you share with whom, online or in-person. What might seem innocuous can be a gold mine for a hacker. This includes information such as your birthdate, mother’s maiden name, or first car.
  4. Use an ad-blocker, such as uBlock Origin, and do not click on links from sources (e-mails or webpages) you do not trust or recognize. Also, beware of link (URL) redirects often used in phishing attacks that can make a malicious link seem legitimate.
  5. Keep your browser and software applications up to date. Vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered and patched. Hence, it is vital to keep your system updated. This includes your laptops, desktops, smartphones, smartwatches, routers, and other devices.