You may think of cyberbullying and cybersecurity as two very different problems with one common connection: the internet. But the two are actually closely related. Cyberbullying usually involves using technology to harass a person while cybersecurity involves preventing hackers and identify thieves from accessing certain information. Let’s explore the connection between these two topics and how mastering one problem can help manage the other.
Before we begin to compare the two terms, we’ll define them. Cyberbullying is bullying a person through technological outlets like social media or texting. Cybersecurity is the protection of sensitive data (and the people behind it) using specific measures.
Bullying is not a new topic, by any means, but cyberbullying has become a trending topic these days because we hear about intimidating, deceiving, harassing, humiliating or even directly impersonating a person in the digital world and it wreaking havoc on people’s lives. There are levels of emotional abuse to stalking and in extreme cases (such as Shana Grice in 2016), cyberbullying can even lead to physical violence.
This is a broad topic but we’ll highlight the more specific areas of the practice that actually relate to the issue of cyberbullying.
Identity theft is definitely the most recognized version of cybercrime and it’s a threat that is used in cyberbullying often. This type of fraud takes advantage of an individual by accessing or opening new lines of credit in their name and cybercriminals will impersonate an individual for other motives, in many cases. For example, a cyberbully may hack into a user account on a game, email address or social media account in order to impersonate them and request money from their friends and family.
Cyberbullies can also use malware to hack into their target’s phone which then gives them access to their GPS location or sensitive personal information housed on the device. Another unnerving side of this type of data breach is the potential for the stalker to use a phone, tablet or laptop camera and they then have direct access to watch a person in the privacy of their own home.
Cybersecurity to Manage Cyberbullying
The technology world is forever changing and being aware of a problem does not make it go away. However, taking steps to help minimize cyberbullying and cybersecurity breaches is the key!
Here are 4 tips to minimize cyberbullying and cybersecurity risks:
- Keep your software up to date at all times.
Using outdated software naturally increases the risk of a breach. Having a cybersecurity team to keep track of every update and any incoming threats is also a very good idea.
- Create strong passwords.
You’ve heard it before but we’re here to tell you again, it is not smart to use your dog’s name or your birthday (or kids’ birthdays) as passwords for your accounts. You not only need a strong password using words, numbers and special characters but multi-factor authentication should be applied when available.
- Be on the lookout for scams.
Never click on a link or download if it is not clear what source it’s coming from. It is also a good idea never to give personal information over the phone, text or email.
- Teach healthy communication.
It is extremely important to teach all internet users – whether they are employees or your children – the importance of good, honest communication about their online activities. Take time to explain the dangers and educate them on cybersecurity.
Take steps to increase your cybersecurity in your business and personal lives and make sure everyone is well informed on the issues. Do you need to chat about your cybersecurity or want to learn ways to educate your employees? Schedule a free demo and let us take care of it for you.
Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.
About BIS Technology Group
BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing, Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.
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