Cybersecurity Importance in E-Learning
By Erin Harger - August 19, 2020
The devices provided to you by your school district or employer mean nothing without a Wi-Fi connection. One of the most vital steps you need to take to be successful in e-learning or working from home is communication between you, your instructors or boss, your peers or coworkers, and any clients you might work closely with. Without a Wi-Fi connection, this communication would not be possible.
But as we know, not all internet connections are created equal, and the safety of your connection is vital to your school and company as you defend against attackers trying to steal sensitive information. Enter your Wi-Fi network encryption. One of the most common ways to do this is to go into your Wi-Fi security settings and select “WPA2” or “WPA3”. If you’re not sure what encryption type is the best for you, consult with your IT department to ensure that some form of encryption is enabled and protecting you from hackers.
Another thing that we suggest is verifying that your router’s username and password have changed from the default credentials. If it currently uses the default credentials, you will want to reset the router and enter a new password of your choice. There are loads of databases provided to people on the dark web that have common passwords used by the manufacturers of routers. In the next blog post, we will explain how to make sure the passwords you are using are secure and extremely difficult for hackers to guess.
Public Wi-Fi - not as safe as you’d hope
If you decided to head over to your local coffee shop for a change for scenery this morning, you are going to run into another cybersecurity risk, shared or public Wi-Fi services. The best suggestion for your cybersecurity is to avoid using shared or public Wi-Fi services whenever possible. Luckily for you, we have some tips on how to establish a secure internet connection if you ever have to be working or learning on the go.
We recommend that you encrypt any public Wi-Fi with either a personal hotspot or a VPN. Don’t know what a VPN is? VPN stands for virtual private network. This allows you to create secure connections with other networks over the internet. A VPN should almost always be used in conjunction with public Wi-Fi to ensure that nobody else can view your online traffic.
Keep Devices Defended with Updates
Also, we recommend making sure your computer and programs are always up to date. These updates can also be known as OS patching. Patching is a small change made to the software to fix security flaws and bugs in a program. It can be easy to ignore notifications of available updates if you are working on a project and don’t want to be interrupted, but the longer you have old software on your devices, the more time that gives hackers to attack you through the vulnerabilities in those programs.
Our last tip for cybersecurity practices at home is to make sure to install firewalls and antivirus software onto your devices to help catch malware if you accidentally make a mistake and your cybersecurity gets compromised. Check with your IT department to make sure these types of programs are installed correctly and are readily available to you.