By Bobby P. Gomez Jr.
Pulse staff reporter
Cyber attacks violate, disturb and invade. Students need to take the best possible steps to stay secure.
“I used to be part of a security team called Cyber Patriots,” said freshman Digital Arts Major Hunter Schneider. “I was part of the hacking team. While you may have yourself secured on your end, somebody else may not have it on the other [side]. Anybody can hack, if they just have the right skills.”
Individuals who look to do harm in cyberspace can come from anywhere and be anyone.
Individuals and small groups are not the only targets that are vulnerable to a cyber attack. Major universities can be put at risk if any information is not secure.
Roy Baker, a Palo Alto College student and fashion entrepreneur, said, “I have been scammed to where I try to order something online and it just never comes in.”
Now he looks for “secure labels on websites when buying online, like secure checkout on Amazon.”
To ensure protection from unauthorized entities gaining access to your information, try some of these tactics: Turn on your firewall, install or update your antivirus software, keep your operating system up to date, and turn off your computer when not in use.
Brian McDaniel, who received his master’s degree in Computer Science and teaches cyber security courses at Palo Alto College, said, “San Antonio is a national leader in cyber security. Stay informed. Ensure your system is updated with the latest patches to the operating system and applications. Use Internet security applications like McAfee or Norton. There are a lot of online resources for cyber security. A little Googling will find many.“
In 2014, Yahoo encountered a major breach that enabled a hacker to take information from 500 million user accounts. The information taken may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, passwords and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
Yahoo issued a statement that stated, “The company further recommends users avoid clicking or downloading attachments from suspicious emails. Online intrusions and thefts have become increasingly common across the technology industry.”
Before we can act, we must be aware. Staysafeonline.org is on a mission to educate the global digital society on how to use the Internet in a safe and secure manner. Their website offers tips on social networking, online shopping, ID theft, fraud and securing your accounts and passwords.
No one can expect the unexpected, but you can prevent someone else from putting their hands on your personal information. The more Internet awareness you can harness, the better protected you will be.