Happy National Online Learning Day!
Wait, is that even a thing? Well, it is and it’s observed every September 15th, whether or not you have ever heard of it. And you know what? Here at RCS were really happy that online learning is celebrated because we think learning of all kinds is awesome.
So much to learn, so little time
Today, there are so many ways to learn super-cool things online. For example, on Khan Academy you could learn about early 20th century history and on Udemy you can learn Java, Java Script, where the heck Java (the place) really is or how to make amazing Coffee from Java Beans. Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale and Carnegie Mellon all have online courses and you can even *attempt* to get up to snuff with your knowledge of really complicated stuff with an online course called “Quantum Physics Made Relatively Simple”. Uh, sure.
Cyber security as the basis for all other online learning
But our favorite kind of online learning deals with a subject that if you’re in-the-know, the better off you’ll be, no matter what other topics you decide to check out later – you guessed it, we’re talking about cyber security. Developing your cyber security smarts is a super important skill in today’s complicated and overly-techy world, but it’s one that many people choose to shy away from as it’s got an unfortunate rep for being dry and too technical for non-geeks to understand.
The thing is, despite its bad rep, it’s actually pretty fascinating stuff even if you don’t have the first clue about keyloggers, exploits and kiddie scripts. And considering that IOT and corporate mega hacks are always in the news, and heck, even the presidential election has been replete with cyber security talk and concerns, today, if you’re in the dark about this stuff, that’s not good news.
And since so much of our lives are digitally-centered nowadays, having a better understanding of cybersecurity will help you:
- Keep your devices safe from malware
- Shop online more securely
- Keep your identity safe
- Take charge of your privacy online
- Maintain the security of your data
- Improve the safety of your accounts
- Create a safe online environment for your kids
- Make smarter choices on social media
- Avoid scams and hacks
- Navigate email-based threats like spam and dangerous links
Call us obsessed, but really, what could be more practical than learning about the very stuff that makes our online lives tick??
Now that we have (hopefully) sold you on learning to make everything you do online more secure, here are some resources to get you started on your journey to becoming cyber-savvy. We present to you resources that are beginner-friendly, cutting out lots of annoying jargon and focusing on keeping regular people safe.
Amazing cyber security resources for total beginners
Financial Fraud Action UK – A great source of information regarding online and mobile banking. Has lots of tips for keeping your devices safe while banking online and recognizing financial fraud.
National Crime Prevention Center – Tons of practical advice on keeping your family safe online. In particular, they have social media awareness guides to give parents the tools they need to navigate and understand the platform their kids use.
Stay Safe Online – A huge one-stop-shop for everything cyber-security related, created specifically with beginners in mind. They have lots of tip sheets for all kinds of security related issues like keeping teens safe online, keeping older people safe, tips for avoiding ransomware, and tons of other goodies.
Future Learn Beginner’s Cyber Security Course – A free online course given by Cory Doctorow from The Open University. The course is completely targeted to beginners looking to ensure the safety of their digital identity and starts in October. It runs for eight weeks so sign up today!
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – The British organization’s main focus is on preventing abuse towards children and has a huge amount of information to help parents recognize and cyberbullying, dangerous texting, and and social media-based cyber crimes. They also have an app that provides age-appropriate ratings popular games, apps and social networks.
Electronic Frontier Foundation – Everything you need to know about digital privacy, tracking and data collection.
Who is Hosting This – This website, dedicated to exposing fake hosting companies has an in-depth eight chapter guide on recognizing common and not-so-common online scams.
Motherboard Hacking Glossary – Huge collection of hacking and breach-related terms so you’ll sound in-the-know.
And then of course there is the rest of the Reason Core Security Blog, where we include tips, advice and news snippets about all of the issues covered above to give beginners the most comprehensive cyber security overview possible.
Still feeling clueless? That’s okay, you just need to jump in and get learning. The truth is, with all the amazing resources out there, you really have very little excuse to stay clueless. And why would you want to? It’s your own security that’s at stake so regardless of how old or young you are, there is no time like the present to learn how to take control of your online life. Soon, you’ll be on your way to protecting what’s rightfully yours and keeping your family safer too.