How many times do I have to tell you?
Sadly, if you’re reading this, odds are that you are an adult now, but you should know that I’m saying this with the same frustration that your parents had.
We teach kids when they are younger by repetition. Lessons become so ingrained in our head that we can all recite “Look both ways!” “Don’t touch that!” “Wash your hands” – and countless others. Why is it that as adults, we decide to stop learning things that are for our own good; rules that protect and keep us safe?
I’m talking about cybersecurity, and for some reason, we aren’t listening.
Not everyone. But most Americans don’t seem to realize the risk that they put themselves in with careless and sloppy cyber behaviors. Identity theft is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many possible dangers with careless cybersecurity, that I’m saying this for our own good – PAY ATTENTION!
But I used a combination of caps and characters!
Unfortunately, the rules that were once solid, are no longer good enough. The sophistication of hackers and their methods have surpassed what was initially the way of protecting our personal identification, business network, and other electronic assets.
There is a lack of education among most people, and therefore their expectations of what they are doing to protect themselves are not even close enough to what measures should be taken. For example, people assume that the public wi-fi at their local coffee shop is ok to use because the people that own the café would never steal their information.
How do we educate people to understand this better?
To complicate things even more, there is an assumption that our data isn’t valuable if there isn’t a big bank account tied to it, or that our jobs give access to secret information as if we worked for the CIA. If a cybercriminal gets access to your information, whether that be information about your personal life or your banking password – that data can be used (or attempted to be misused) in countless ways.
How do we create a new normal?
Little by little, we have to address our own personal security at home. I know there are a lot of devices to maintain but let’s start with our phone and do a thorough once over. Ensure that all home devices are secure and then look to online activities – and those of your friends and family members. We spend more time learning how to manage a new tv remote control than we do our own personal cybersecurity for each device we acquire.
As a business owner, encourage your employees to do this because a breach in their data puts your business at risk as well. High risk. Do they use two-factor authentication? Do you? Your data is linked to family, friends, and colleagues – ensure that they are doing their part to keep your identity and data safe as well. This shouldn’t be an uncomfortable conversation.
I believe that these old habits will die out, and each generation will become more and more cyber aware. But in the meantime, we have to take ownership for what we are sharing and providing the cyber world to take and use against us – or to profit from.