Are You “Cyber Smart”? Test Your Cyber Security Knowledge Before Your Personal Identity Is Breached

With the start of the holiday season and increase in online shopping, do you know how “cyber smart” you are? Is your personal information safe? Two Excelsior College employees skilled in cybersecurity, Ethan Sprissler, the faculty program director, information technology and undergraduate cybersecurity, and Amelia Estwick, program manager, graduate cybersecurity, share tips to test your cyber knowledge. If you are interested in technology and cybersecurity check out the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

This “Cyber Smart Test” will help you stay safe when surfing the internet and using technology at home, in the car, on your watch, or in the workplace.

Test question 1:

Do you ever test if your passwords are secure? If yes, you’re ahead of the curve. If not, test yours here.

Test question 2:

For online security, do you create passwords or passphrases? Cyber experts suggest you create a passphase for added protection. It’s quite simple.

  • Pick a phrase – Example: I shop at Marshalls
  • Use 1st letter of each word – Example: ISAM
  • Add a name of a website – Example: Isamarshalls
  • Substitute special characters – Example: Isamarshalls$364!

Test question 3:

When the pop-up question, “Do you want to save this password?” appears on your computer, what do you do? The answer should be “No – never for this site.”

Test question 4:

Do you put the information below on forms, applications, in email, or on websites? Your goal should be to minimize personal information sharing.

  • Passwords
  • Credit card numbers
  • Addresses for work/home
  • Email addresses
  • Birthdates
  • Pharmacy prescriptions – remember to safely discard your personal information that comes with prescriptions. This is a big business now with the opioid crisis.
  • Electronic health records
  • Financial Information
  • Vehicle license info
  • Biometric identifiers – Be careful with thumbprint, eye scanners, etc. In general, be safe when sharing personal or unique information. Ask who is storing this? Is it safe?

Test question 5:

Do you use Bluetooth? Malicious attackers can crash your devices, block them from receiving phone calls, and drain your battery. It is suggested to turn off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it. Check out the article that appeared in Forbes this summer: Update Your iPhones and Androids Now If You Don’t Want Your Bluetooth Hacked.

Test question 6:

Do you use Amazon Echo? Each time you say “Alexa,” you can see a log in on Amazon. Be mindful of where you are tracked. It is recommended to unplug these home devices when you’re not using them. Also, be careful when mobile apps ask for permissions. They can access your address book, etc.
To amplify your knowledge on cyber trends, consider the additional tips below.

  • Have you heard about zero trust states in cybersecurity? This means with cybersecurity, trusting relationships allow access to people you know, however, individuals can allow access to someone they know. Zero trust states the opposite. Identify who you are and then authorize trust. This is the new model built into cyber and being adopted in health care and financial industries.
  • Have you heard about crackers? They break into cyber systems and circumvent security. These people present reports to companies on cyber weakness.
  • Data is king and queen – The dark web is big. It removes trackability. It hides a user’s identity and location, and users can see what kind of accounts you connect to. To learn more visit here.
  • What is multifactor authentication? It is a security system that asks for more than one method to identify; for example, what the user knows (password), what the user has (security token), and what the user is (biometric verification). Banking is doing this now and can lock down accounts.