Small business online security education specialist Prilock Security announced the availability of its Internet-based security awareness program to consumers.
Prilock shows people how to use the Internet, email and social media safely, which can reduce their visibility and vulnerability to identity theft and other malicious attacks.
The company's online security awareness program is designed for all user experience levels—from beginning to expert—and a one-hour interactive briefing is pitched at users who frequently employ a smartphone, laptop or public WiFi.
"Most consumers make the same mistakes that make them vulnerable," Dan Hirning, CEO of Prilock, told eWEEK. "Some include using the same password on multiple accounts, not using strong passwords, sharing too much information on social media accounts, not using PIN security codes on their smartphones, and using public WiFi to access critical business or personal accounts."
Hirning noted that there are multiple ways a hacker can compromise a public WiFi connection in a coffee shop, airport or hotel, which means people should only use public WiFi for browsing or noncritical accounts and turn off their WiFi when done.
It takes about an hour to complete all seven lessons, and users can take them all at once or multiple times using the company's Learning Management delivery platform. Some of the things users are taught are how cybercrime works and why everyone is a target.
The lessons are reinforced with Prilock's Hacker Challenge game, where a hacker attempts to steal a user's ID, cash and retirement accounts.
"Now is the time that people must take back control of, and begin to define, their digital footprint and their digital reputation," Hirning said. "Only a portion of that is within our control, but that can make a big difference in how our future unfolds and what impacts technology will have on us."
Prilock also offers Gift Cards that people can send to friends or clients to help them secure their online activities from a hacker's tricks and, for a limited time, Prilock is offering half off its one-year security awareness training.
"The hacking community has made great advances, as does any modern and profitable company. They have instituted effective recruiting strategies finding the best young hackers and hiring them," Hirning said. "They have segmented the hacking process into different skill sets and managed each group to build the best teams for each discipline. Just as a football team needs the best quarterback, running back, field goal kicker and coach, so do hacking teams."
Hackers specialize in such areas as spam services, malware coding, exploit development, database and operating system expertise, bulletproof hosting, proxy services, money transfer and money mule recruiting, he said.
"These hacking teams offer their services for hire. They even have hacking kits and services for sale or rent with online support," Hirning said. "The skill set to be a hacker continues to lower as people become more and more visible with social media and smartphones apps that broadcast their information."