Cyber Security and Cyberbullying: There Is a Connection
Get started on your cybersecurity degree at American Military University.
By Marissa Bergen
October is both National Bullying Prevention Month and National Cyber Security Awareness Month. While many people might not make a connection between these two events, the relationship becomes apparent if you follow certain thought processes.
Hackers Can Penetrate Your E-Mail or Social Media Accounts and Use Them to Bully You
Cybercrimes are usually done with the intent to steal money. But sometimes, cybercrimes are acts of mischief that could have a big impact on you.
For example, cowardly hackers might use your information to impersonate you online and harass people you know. That has a negative impact on your friends, family members and coworkers.
Hackers May Steal Your Personal Content
Another way hackers can bully you online is by gaining access to your sensitive content. Sexually explicit pictures are a good example.
Cyberbullies try to get their hands on this content and distribute it with the intent of damaging your reputation. Some hackers might even steal such photos or other sensitive data and demand payment in return for not publicly posting that data.
Sharing Passwords Also Makes You More Vulnerable to Hacking
The more people who know your passwords, the more vulnerable you are to cybercrimes. Often, friends will pressure you into sharing your password. This practice can also be a form of cyberbullying when it is done excessively. Don’t feel you have to give out your password just because your friends insist on knowing it.
Ways to Protect Yourself against Cyberbullying and Crime
Although cybercrime is prevalent on the Internet, there are ways you can minimize the chances of you becoming a victim. Here are some examples:
- Protect your phone with a strong password: A strong password, fingerprint or Personal Identification Number (PIN) are all excellent ways to protect your phone from cybercriminals.
- Have the ability to erase your phone remotely: Apple’s iCloud and Google’s Android Device Manager make it easy to erase data on your iPhone or Android phone if it is lost or stolen. Just be sure that your phone is set up to be accessed remotely if you want to take advantage of this security feature.
- Be careful of what you post publicly: Although freedom of speech is still very much alive and well, it is important to think about what you are posting and how others will perceive it. If you post something that could upset other people, they might be likely to target you in return.
If they are skilled at hacking, they could create unpleasantness for you. You don’t have to completely avoid sharing your feelings on your social media accounts but use your privacy settings. That way, the post most likely will not be seen by anyone who might be upset by your words.
Cybersecurity and cyberbullying can go hand in hand. Take steps to protect your online identity so that you minimize the likelihood of these occurrences. October is the month to be most aware of your online security, so be sure to take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe.
About the Author
Marissa Bergen is a freelance writer from Brooklyn, New York. Passionate about everything from fashion to technology, her writing experience has increased her awareness of digital marketing, cybersecurity and the ever-expanding World Wide Web. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Google her to find out more about her writing and her other life as a bass player in her family band, The CheeseBergens.