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Home Centennial College Blog 2018 June 20 Don’t make these Cybersecurity Mistakes

Don’t make these Cybersecurity Mistakes

Picture of Centennial College students at the networking lab

To learn, live, and work today, you need to be doing your business on a computer or mobile device. And because so much sensitive personal information, including banking info and credit cards, inevitably ends up on that computer, it’s important to keep that data secure. You no doubt know that already, and you’ve probably taken steps to keep your data safe. You can even become a part of the business of keeping data safe, with Centennial College's Cybersecurity program. Over the course of one year, this graduate certificate program turns you into a security professional by showing you how to protect networks and computers from malicious people and programs, through practical experience in our modern cybersecurity labs.

If you’ve been using computers and the internet for long enough, you probably already know about most of the basic cybersecurity tips, like having a strong password, and not trusting suspicious emails, (here’s a few, if you haven’t). But there’s also a lot of common mistakes that even cyber-savvy people make, and Ayehu, Gizmodo and Techseen have listed some of them, including:

Don’t share holiday photos until you return.

If you’re away from home, you might find yourself taking pics on your phone, and posting them on Instagram and Facebook. However, if you live on your own (or everyone in your home went with you), you might want to hold off until you return. Why? It’s less about cybersecurity and more about real-life security: You’re announcing to the world that you’re not around, and your home is empty, vulnerable to being broken into. So, postpone your posts until you come back.

Always update everything

We all hate and ignore those annoying pop-ups asking you to stop what you’re doing and update your software, but they’re there for a reason. Your operating systems, your apps, everything you have, should always be kept up to date, even if it’s inconvenient or takes time. There’s almost always security fixes involved, and hackers deliberately look to exploit the flaws in the security of older versions of your software.

Back everything up

Even if you think your data is secure, backing it up, or at least the important bits, onto a portable hard drive will save you a headache in the long run. For one thing, if your computer gets held by ransomware (pay this money to unlock your files), you can safely walk away. And aside from that, accidents happen, and technology can break, so backing up important things is always a good move.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you

The biggest mistake you can make is overconfidence. You might think that you’re not rich or famous enough to get hacked, or that your business is too small. Alternately, you may work for a giant company, and think that they’ve got the best security, so you don’t have to think about it. Really, cybersecurity is something everyone needs to worry about, and it needs to work for both people and companies. This is why a career in cybersecurity is important, and why Centennial College can connect you to a career in cybersecurity. Whether it’s a company with a vast, expensive network, or someone with a laptop, everyone needs their data secured.

By Anthony Geremia