Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, is Safer Internet Day.
It's an annual global event dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet, especially among young people.
“With each day, it is becoming increasingly more complex to protect yourself online," said Rochester Institute of Technology professor of cybersecurity Jonathan Weissman.
Students in his cybersecurity class will go out into the world working to make the internet a safer place.
“What makes the classes I teach here at RIT extra special is that the students not only get the practical fundamental knowledge, but they also get the hands-on skills that are necessary to secure networks and infrastructures," said Weissman.
Anthony Ioppolo is a 4th-year cybersecurity major talking from RIT SEC, the cybersecurity student club, "We’re the largest academic club on campus. We have around 200 members, so I think we're one of, if not the biggest, cybersecurity collegiate security clubs in the country as well.”
Ioppolo supports the awareness effort.
“I think there’s a lot of pretty easy ways to get awareness,” he said. “So these things where say a breach happens and someone’s password is exposed on the internet. By having just good password practices and being more aware that, ‘oh I should just rotate my passwords every now and then,’ it’s just going to help you in these instances."
In addition to regularly changing your password, Weissman says the best passwords are long ones. He suggests using two-factor authentication and has more advice: “Never ever click on a link or from an email perspective, never download and open an attachment unless you know 100% who the person is and that they actually sent it to you.”
Also, Weissman says stay up-to-date on the latest cyber-attacks and vulnerabilities, so you know what to watch for.
“Every day there are more points where your information can be compromised, more vulnerabilities,” he said. “There’s no silver bullet in cybersecurity. What you can do is your due diligence, and try your best and don’t let your guard down.”