This blog comes to us from Tyrone Harmon – aka “Ty the Cyber Guy” – an influential voice in cybersecurity, with an active presence on social media with his video series #CybersecuriTEA.

Ty is a Cybersecurity Specialist at Cisco and the fantastic host for Cisco Networking Academy’s #BeCyberSmart virtual event which took place on June 30. In case you missed it, visit Youtube to watch the broadcast and hear from leading Cisco security experts on how to be a positive agent in the fight against cybercrime. 

Tyrone Harmon "Ty the Cybersecurity Guy"
Tyrone Harmon aka “Ty the Cyber Guy”

Hello there, Tyrone Harmon here. You may know me by my alter ego, Ty the Cyber Guy, who’s on a mission to help everyone stay safe online. Today I’m coming at you with information on how you can be #BeCyberSmart. Here are 5 things you may be overlooking when it comes to protecting yourself online:

  1. Use a VPN. A VPN, or virtual private network, is software that protects your information online. It does this by masking your device IP address, encrypting your data, and routing it through secure networks. VPNs let you browse the internet securely and anonymously. Use an online VPN comparison guide to find the one that best suits your needs.
  2. Use good password hygiene. Create strong passwords by using upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Think in terms of length, too. A longer password is usually better than a more random password if you can keep it less than 12-15 characters long. Use a password manager to help manage multiple password (and so you don’t use the same password everywhere). Also, use a multi-factor authentication for extra security, like Duo Security.
  3. Be vigilant against phishing – think before you click. Over a third of cyber attacks come in the form of phishing, and most phishing happens through email. Scammers create fake links to fake websites that look identical to real sites and use these to obtain your sensitive information, like bank account passwords and credit card numbers. When in doubt, do not click.
  4. Beware of social engineering. Friends and family aren’t the only ones paying attention to the information you share online. Check the privacy settings on your social accounts. Be cautious about sharing personal financial information, such as your bank account number, social security number, or credit card number. Only share personal information on secure sites that begin with https://. Do not use sites with invalid certificates.
  5. Be cyber conscious. There’s a lot more to learn when it comes to online safety. Do your homework and take advantage of learning opportunities such as Cisco Networking Academy’s free Introduction to Cybersecurity course.

So, there you have it – 5 top tips from Ty the Cyber Guy (that’s me) to help protect you a little more online. Follow along with me on social to get even more tips so you can stay cyber smart. 


Emma Reid

Global Marketing Manager

Cisco Networking Academy