CyberPatriot’s cyber tips #6
The Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps has a branch dedicated to cyber security. This group participates in a national cyber security program with competitions called CyberPatriot. Here are this month’s tips:
Never use your real name as a username, as you never know who may be watching.
Update, update, update! Yes, it’s a hassle. Yes, often we don’t do it. But this is important because every update brings patches to defend against new threats. Interested in reading about cyber vulnerabilities? Here’s a good website: https://www.cve.org/
Some threats, however, known as “zero-day threats,” are threats that haven’t been discovered and fixed yet. These are the most dangerous.
Be careful about Public Wifi. Free Wi-Fi networks are very appealing, but they might not be secure. If you use public Wi-Fi, try to use one with some encryption, so outside attackers don’t have access. If you must use one, avoid accessing personally identifiable information.
Disable Bluetooth. Bluetooth connections are vulnerable to outside attacks, and almost anyone can connect, bringing in viruses or much worse.
Be sure about who you talk to online, you never know who is behind the computer.
When you are or know someone who is being cyberbullied, please report it to an adult as quickly as possible, as cyberbullying accounts for the largest percentage of suicides.
More about basic file encryption tips:
The process of encryption can vary, but generally, most standards follow a basic pathway. An encoding algorithm is first applied to the target file, scrambling the data. The file then becomes unreadable, but only temporarily; the encrypted data is sent with a special key from the sender, usually a password or passphrase. Only individuals authorized to access the data receive the decryption key. There are various file encryption standards present across the internet, such as DES, AES, Blowfish, RSA, to name a few fundamentals. There are various criteria to evaluate the security of a standard too, like algorithm length, key length, etc. But, to make it simple for you, just ensure that your system is using adequate software or standard by checking under “Security.” Most OSes will have a designated area showing whether their flagship encryption is on or off.
Senior Nathan Min, commander; sophomore Veer Chopra, sergeant of SRHS CyberPatriot; and sophomore Delbert Tran, CyberPatriot NCO; are leading the CyberPatriot branch at SRHS AFJROTC.