Culture Goes Digital: Training Course on Internet Security Report

Last week, from March 4th to 9th, six people who represent diverse backgrounds and are members of CGE Erfurt e.V. got an opportunity to visit Emphasys Centre and learn about Internet Security. Do you want to know more about their experience?

Emphasys Centre is a leading organisation in Cyprus that focuses on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education, research and training. The training is a continuation of a partnership between CGE-Erfurt and Emphasys Centre.

During the training, which also included Polish and Croatian participants, the group discussed General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679 – GDPR) and ways that individuals, as well as organisations, can protect themselves in the online world. From all the content presented, the participants would like to share the following tips:

  • Personal Data that is on any communication device cannot be completely safe. Although, there are multiple methods one can use to make it more difficult for others;
  • Computer Virus and other Malware (malicious software) are abundant. Beware and use anti-virus program on all your devices as well as keep them up to date;
  • Cracking passwords is becoming easier every year, and in order not to be an easy victim use a password that has various characters of at least 8 symbols in length. Using lower and upper case letters makes your password exponentially stronger – especially when you include numbers and symbols;
  • Beware of phishing emails and other scams that try to collect your information or passwords. When logging into any profile on the internet see that the page is secure (https:) and before clicking on links think twice by moving cursor over the link to see if they match;
  • Using HTTPS, is more recommended for the websites searches as its more secure than HTTP;
  • Cookies are also a main concern in today’s internet world. In many websites it is obligatory to accept cookies in order to access the content in the website. They are designated to save the user’s search data to improve better search results in the future. On the other hand, it may be vital source of information for hackers. It is recommended to clear or delete the cookies from time to time;
  • User must be careful in clicking any spam email, which may have link to websites containing viruses and malwares, there may be chances that hackers might expose personal information;
  • There are three types of hacking: White Hat Hacker, Black Hat Hacker, Grey Hat Hacker:
    • White Hat Hackers are good hackers who don’t use their skills for illegal purposes, they are usually computer security experts and help protect from black hackers;
    • Black Hat Hackers use their skills for bad purpose, for personal gain or hacking into highly secure network and asking for ransom;
    • Grey Hat Hackers use their skill for both good and bad purposes, its basically a combination for both Black and White Hat Hackers.

This may sound grim, but there are several solutions a person can use to better protect him/herself and their personal data. Our participants would suggest the following ones:

  • Write your passwords down, digital data saving cannot be trusted at a certain point;
  • Install Anti-Virus/Malware software to secure the network connection, personal data, USB devices, External hard disks with a complete package;
  • Always update the operating system of your device. The counter security measures get updated with latest threats;
  • Frequently back-up the data;
  • Be extremely careful of suspicious emails or attachments.

During the week, the participants also got an opportunity to explore different sights of Cyprus. Understanding history of the island and the current political climate was intriguing. They were able to visit numerous cities and one of the highlights was a visit to a local village Omodos and the super beautiful vineyard of Ktima Gerolemo (group picture). In Omodos, they tasted local cheese, olives, wine, and other delicious snacks. Besides that, a bike tour to see more of beautiful Cyprus was also a great adventure for the participants and brought them closer to the rich cultural history of this alluring island country. An evening in a typical tavern was also an amazing experience for the participants as they were able to spend time with another, share stories and get an insight in local cuisine.

All the participants and organisers were thrilled to have such a collaboration and are filled with ideas for further partnerships in the field of Internet Security and ICT.

The project is financed by the Nationale Agentur beim Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung.

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