UMUC Experts Provide Tips to Protect Personal Data
The increasing number of cyber-attacks threaten our daily lives as we become more socially and economically dependent on the Internet and wireless technology. What can individuals do to protect themselves? What can organizations do to protect proprietary information and safeguard customer data? What can governments do to protect sensitive computer networks and military weapons? Estimates of the annual cost of cybercrimes and cyber-espionage go as high as $100 billion annually in the U.S.
In addition to a defensive posture and countermeasures, public and private sector organizations are increasingly using offensive measures to preempt cyber-attacks. What are companies and government agencies doing to thwart cyber-attacks before they are even launched?
University of Maryland University College (UMUC), which was one of the first institutions to create online academic programs in cybersecuity, has faculty experts available to explain cyberthreats, provide tips to help individuals protect their data, and offer analysis of cyber-attacks and cyberwarfare.
Alan Carswell, Ph.D. Chair, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Department Areas of expertise: development of large-scale information systems for the public and private sectors.
Clay Wilson, Ph.D. Director, Cybersecurity Policy Program Areas of expertise: cyberdefense and cyberterrorism, nonproliferation for cyberweapons, control of cyberweapons, cybercrime, net-centric warfare and the cybercapabilities of terrorist groups.
Rose Shumba, Ph.D. Director, Digital Forensics and Cyber-Investigation Program Areas of expertise: digital forensics, secure software development, cloud computing, human computer interaction and security, and gender and computer science/information assurance.
Valorie King, Ph.D. Collegiate Associate Professor, cybersecurity and information assurance. Areas of expertise: software systems engineering for both government and industry, cybersecurity, information assurance, digital forensics and cyber-investigation.
Richard White, Ph.D. Associate Professor, cybersecurity and information assurance Areas of expertise: cybersecurity infrastructure, network systems design, security technology implementation, security policy development and enforcement and rapid deployment of cyberthreat detection and remediation technologies.
Charles Pak, Ph.D. Associate Professor, cybersecurity and information assurance Areas of expertise: large-scale data centers, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection, cyber counterterrorism and risk assessment and management.
Amy Harding, Ph.D. Associate Professor, cybersecurity and information assurance Areas of expertise: information management, information systems requirements and architecture.
UMUC EXPERTS’ 5 TIPS TO PROTECT PERSONAL DATA
- Use passwords that are not obviously related to you, because those are the first guesses that a hacker will use to access your accounts. Examples of bad passwords: your name, your user ID, “password”, “12345”.
- Be wary of joining unknown WiFi networks. Hackers sometimes set up such networks to capture and store what users send, including IDs and passwords.
- Don’t email (or tweet, or post in Facebook) anything that you don’t want made public. Period.
- Be suspicious of any email unless you know from whom it came, and have reason to expect the email. Hackers can make an email look like it came from anyone.
- Many financial institutions offer a feature where they will send you an email whenever there is a large transaction (charge, withdrawal, etc.) against your account. Consider enabling that option. If someone illegitimately accesses your account, you will learn about it quickly.