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Joint University and Small and medium sized enterprises Training


Interacting safely in a digital setting
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Cybersecurity tips and tricks

Learning outcomesClick to read  

At the end of this module you will:


get familiar with cybersecurity and understand the basic utility tools (VPN, Antimalware, cloud apps)

develop your responsibility in relation to netiquette

understand how to maintain privacy when sharing content online


IntroductionClick to read  

We live in an increasingly interconnected world. This comprises the feeling the need to share the best of our last trip to our Instagram circle, or shifting the topic from leisure to work, every call or email exchange we participate in during our educational and/or work life.

Unknowingly, these exchanges of information contain plenty of data about us, often sensible, which can be stolen and collected by people who want to illegally take advantage of it.

This is why having cybersecurity protocols or just practices (which does not only mean installing an antivirus and then stop caring) is essential for our online life.


Keep yourself updatedClick to read  

Our devices usually bother us with inconvenient “new software update” notifications. Despite sometimes not changing anything at first glance, these updates are very useful, as they patch recently discovered bugs and security issues that might pose a risk to our devices and the information they contain

However, these software updates might be short-lived since hackers are always on the lookout to find software vulnerabilities, which stresses the importance of keeping our devices updated.

Use backups!Click to read  

Keeping a separate, additional copy of your files is a safe bet when, despite our efforts, the worst happens and the files get corrupted or our system suffers a cyberattack. To avoid it, our files can be safely stored in an external drive and/or online cloud applications.

Contrary to common belief, backup versions should be created during the elaboration process and not only once the file is finished. In this way you can easily circle back to previous iterations of the file in case something goes wrong mid draft.

Passwords and multi-factor authenticationClick to read  

Often overlooked, passwords are a vital part of cybersecurity. Despite the hassle of remembering and introducing them character-perfect, long passwords with as m4nY! types of characters as possible are a must. Needless to say, using your date of birth (and the like) is not an option.

Also, due to frequent security breaches, passwords can be easily compromised, so keep different passwords on every device or account and remember to change them regularly!

Multi-factor authentication is a system that makes it harder for cybercriminals by requiring additional credentials beyond the password to enter your account e.g., an SMS code, a call or using a specific app.

Safe practices

Safeguard your privacy!Click to read  

We tend to associate cybersecurity with hackers using state-of-the-art tools to break into our accounts. The truth is that most of their success comes from googling and gathering “public information” from social media, blogs and forums.

In this way, if we like to use a combination of our pet’s name, mother’s surname, door number, etc. for our passwords, it is a matter of time before a hacker can gather it all from here and there, recombine it and break in.

Reconsider what “private information” means to you. Go back on your timeline(s), look for any pictures of your ID/credit card/personal documents (could be goodbye, appreciation or mock posts) and delete them. Also, pay attention to any profiles having too much unnecessary personal information.

Remember: if you don’t want any information to be seen by strangers, just don’t post it!

Watch your netiquette Click to read  

The “netiquette” is a set of rules of courtesy designed to ease online coexistence, just as we have social conventions for the offline world such as waving, greeting and saying “please”.

Also, as in real life, bear in mind that this code of conduct is not immutable and depends on the context. A good example of this is the set of rules usually sticky posted on Facebook groups or forums.

The original “netiquette” rules by Virginia Shea (1994) are still valid with some updates, such as in the following example: