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Why Cyber Safety Education is a Crucial Component of Online Privacy

Cyber safety might be something you know a little bit about; it might be something you’re only just hearing about. Regardless, you’re probably not taking the concept seriously enough. Cyber threats are on the rise, they’re getting more serious and they’re showing no signs of stopping. The following will look at the different areas of knowledge you might want to gain to help you make better cyber safety decisions as well as why it’s so important to learn about cybersecurity in general.

What Is A Cyber Threat?

Foremost, it might be useful to define the term cyber threat. Cyber threats are digital attacks or digital actions that lay the foundation for digital attacks to take place. Given this, cybersecurity is the art and skill of protecting systems and information from cyber threats. This is a broad category in which many different illegal and legal activities can fit.

The New Era Of Cybercrime

It used to be only critical systems and sensitive data that were targeted by cybercrime, but that’s no longer the case. Hackers and cybercriminals are devoting more and more of their time to smaller businesses and individuals as there is far less cyber security in these digital areas. Only 50% of businesses in America have any form of cybersecurity plan in place, and of this 50%, 30% haven’t updated their strategies in recent years to suit new developments in cybercrime.

Couple this information with the rate of cyber-attacks, and you have a pretty scary recipe. There were 50% more cyberattacks per week in 2022 than there were in 2021.

Cybercrime Costs Money

Cyber attacks aren’t just something that slows down business and embarrasses you (because you have to tell everyone you lost their data in a breach); they can also be incredibly expensive. In 2020 alone, cybercrime cost over one trillion dollars. This total doesn’t even include the lost potential income businesses likely suffered after their customer base lost trust in them due to a cyber attack.

Everyone Needs A Cyber Safety Strategy

No matter who you are or what your business produces, you need a cyber safety strategy. Plans must be in place to reduce the risk of cybercrime as well as mitigate the damages done should cybercrime still take place. It is especially important if you’re collecting other people’s information for any reason. If your business has an email newsletter, keeps client phone numbers on a computer, stores addresses for delivery, or takes payment online, you are collecting people’s data, and you have a responsibility to protect it. It’s one thing to risk your own identity and financial situation; it’s an entirely different thing to risk someone else’s financial situation, especially after they’ve given you a piece of their data in good trust.

What Elements Of Cybersecurity Should You Learn About?

When it comes to protecting yourself from cybercrime, every business and industry is going to need to focus on different elements. Yes, there are some basics that apply to everyone (strong passwords are an absolute must), but quite often, different data sets have different problems to worry about. Given this, it’s best to work with a cybersecurity professional, someone with an accredited cyber security certificate, for example. Depending on the size of your organization and the sensitivity of your data, you might need a whole team to manage this.

Foremost, your cyber security strategy should involve an audit. This is an examination done—by a professional—on how secure your systems are at the present moment. They’ll look for easy access to your networks and other valuable digital assets. This process might be disheartening as there are likely many areas of your current security setup that need revamping. The knowledge you can gain from having your particular situation audited cannot be replaced by any educational program. It’s going to show you what you need to focus on; it can also help direct your learning.

Your cybersecurity strategy will begin by first addressing immediate problems or threats, and this means learning about the particular threats you’re facing and the different protective measures that can be taken. Once this is done, you can begin crafting pipelines and policies that help keep all your private data private. This will likely involve a period of trial and error as you learn about different software options and test them out with your workflow.

For instance, you might realize you need to encrypt the files you email to some of your clients as the data within them is sensitive and easily accessed (or your clients don’t necessarily have fantastic security on their end); there are several different cloud-based software options that allow you to do this. Each has its own approach to encryption, and its own pricing scheme.

Once you’ve selected the tools you need and have a plan for how new data is going to be safely collected, how it’s going to be stored, and how it’s going to be shared, as well as who has access to each of these points along your pipeline, it’s time to ensure that your staff is properly trained on the new procedures. Cybersecurity teams sometimes offer training as part of their service fee. This will likely include an introduction to the new procedures as well as regular review sessions every few months. It will also contain a component for new hires who are joining the company between training sessions.

Finally, you need to know that cybersecurity is never done. It’s not something that can simply be set up and then enjoyed in perpetuity. It’s something that has to be revisited on a regular basis to ensure you’re keeping up with the times. Updates on your software will need to be completed. You’ll have to pay attention to cybercrime news and keep on top of new approaches hackers are using.

The above overview should have given you an idea of the process involved in developing strong cyber safety habits and procedures. Of course, each step within this process is going to involve a ton of details that will vary depending on your particular situation and the needs of you, your staff, and your customers. It’s important that you understand how fast the world of cybercrime can change and how often this means you’re going to need to pivot. Yes, cybersecurity specialists are always working on improving their approaches, but so are hackers and cybercriminals.

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