Every 44 seconds, a computer is hacked. Last year alone, half a billion personal records were stolen, not including recent large-scale attacks on sites like Facebook, Yahoo, and England’s National Health Services.

In short, you’ve never been more vulnerable in an increasingly digital world. So it’s absolutely critical, moreso now than ever, that you maintain an ironclad digital profile.

Our profiles revolve around digital devices. There are nearly four such devices for every person on Earth. This makes us extremely prone to hackers whether we’re at home, in school, at work, or even sitting in our cars. Why? Quite simply, because we’re connected to the internet.

So how do you protect yourself? First, it’s important to understand what personal information is being shared, how it’s stored, and where it’s being stored.

The methods cybercriminals are using to acquire your personal information are becoming more and more sophisticated as technology evolves. And shockingly, many of the methods they use are as simple as asking for sensitive information via emails or text messages.

So what can you do about this?

First, always employ multi-factor authentication whenever possible. This is one of the easiest steps to take, and it puts an additional barrier between you and a potential cyber attack.

Second, always make sure your passwords are changed regularly and are appropriately complex. For instance, passwords should contain capital letters, numbers, and symbols. They should also be as long and creative as possible. This goes for everything that prompts you to login, but especially when it comes to things like email, banking, and social media. If you ever suspect suspicious activity, make sure you report it and change your password immediately.

Keep in mind, every time you click, share, and post something on the internet, a digital imprint is created. And these imprints can create opening points for cybercriminals. It’s critical to review your security settings in order to fully understand how visible your digital profile is. Limit the information that apps and websites can access and share.

Also, make sure you stay current with the latest software, web browsers, and operating system updates in order to have the most up-to-date protection. Waiting to install updates is extremely important, as these updates are often software patches that close loopholes that have been exploited by cybercriminals.

Don’t be a cybercrime victim – understand, secure, and maintain your digital profile.

Stevenson University Online’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics provides an advanced education for experienced information technology professionals interested in the analysis of forensically collected and acquired digital evidence. Our graduate program trains technology professionals to preserve, acquire, analyze, interpret, and document critical forensic findings for use in legal and computer security proceedings. Our Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics program prepares cybersecurity and digital forensics professionals to respond to the growing demand and confront these attacks. Our bachelor’s program provides students with the ability to develop security policies for organizations and the skills to mitigate the effects on a network infrastructure due to a cyber-attack. Graduates will be equipped to evaluate an end-to-end computer forensics investigation and prepare a digital forensics evidence report.

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