Each day, we create, store, and share increasing amounts of personal and proprietary information on, and through, our computers and digital devices. When we use search tools and visit web sites, we reveal vast amounts of information about the most personal aspects of our lives, and the individuals, places, and organizations we are affiliated with.
When we move around the world, our mobile devices constantly leave behind identifiable information, including our physical location, the WIFI networks we connect to, the traffic conditions we navigate, and the cellphone towers and the Bluetooth devices we connect to. When we navigate the web, we leave behind huge amounts of information that can identify us and reveal our most personal secrets; “private browsing” is simply not enough.
Often, it is not the information that we control about ourselves that puts us at risk, but the personal information that we entrust to others. Understanding the terms and conditions of how our personal information is collected, used, shared, and stored has never been more important. Dedicated hackers, sometimes criminally motivated, sometimes state sponsored, are always on the lookout for weaknesses that can allow them to gain access to information storage systems, and there are numerous ways our information can be stolen and released into the public domain. From non-technical social engineering techniques to the use of sophisticated probing and scanning technologies that are freely available, there are many ways to circumvent security controls for the purposes of obtaining our private and confidential data.
Understanding the steps that can be taken to protect our online activities and reduce exposure to risk is a key component of this training program, as well as developing basic competency in the use of freely available open source tools to protect digital communications and data in transit.