You’ve Been Hacked! Explaining Cybersecurity to Students in an Interconnected Era
By Jacob Batchelor 06/01/17
Here’s an easy way to explain IoT hacks to students:
- A hacker accesses a device, like a webcam, through its internet connection. Devices with weak security or easy-to-guess passwords make easy targets.
- The hacker can then infect the device with malware, a type of computer virus that takes control of a device.
- The hacker now has a number of options. He or she can use the device to spy, infect other devices or attack a target like the servers (centralized computers that store network data) targeted in the October 2016 attack.
- Research the manufacturer. Are they reputable? Have they previously been hacked? Big, established companies based in developed countries are usually the safest.
- Read up on security features. Is the device password-protected? Can you set your own password? If so, make it a strong password that uses numbers, letters and symbols — avoid common words or phrases.
- Regularly check for updates. Good companies will regularly update the software on their devices to protect against vulnerabilities.
- Ask yourself — do you need it? Make sure internet-connectivity is something you really need on the device you’re using. In many cases, internet-connectivity is not necessary for the device to function properly.
a few tips that students can use to protect their privacy while using smartphones:
- Research apps before signing up for them. Is it from a reputable developer? Has it had security issues in the past? Use the same approach as when researching IoT devices.
- Look over the terms of service. What information does it require? Does it track or store your data? Can the developer sell your information? All of these questions are important to consider.
- Be careful when linking apps to your social media accounts. Giving apps access to your social media accounts makes them vulnerable to hacking. Is there a good reason for the accounts to be linked? Can you sign up without linking to a social media account?
- Use two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires authorization beyond a password when using unrecognized devices such as entering a code sent to your cellphone. As apps allow, be sure to use two-factor authentication which will make it more difficult for hackers to access the information stored in your apps.
more on hackers in this IMS blog