Professional Development
Computer science / Cybersecurity

How to protect your devices from hackers

From our archives come these pointers and resources to prevent breaches to your computers, phones and more.

Threats are lurking. (Photo by Flickr user Brian Klug, used under a Creative Commons license)

This editorial article is a part of Cybersecurity Month of's 2022 editorial calendar.

Hacks happen, and they happen to organizations of all sizes.’s Cybersecurity Month just started, and we’re kicking its first full week off by highlighting some ways you can protect your network, personal information and data.

For those that don’t believe their data is at risk, consider the following: The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights’ Breach Portal counts 878 open cases of healthcare data breaches over the past two years. The 19 cases from Maryland alone represent 1.4 million people with compromised health data. And telecom giant Verizon’s 2019 data breach report, which drew from analyses of 41,686 security incidents, included 2,013 confirmed data breaches — 43% of which involved small businesses.

To help you guard against security threats, we offer this collection of cybersecurity knowledge and tips from the archives:

Digital hygiene

Last year, cyber pro David Lipscomb of BDPA’s Philadelphia chapter gave pointers on digital hygiene in a Slack-based AMA on his career. His key tips included:

  • Change the name of your default home network.
  • Set a strong and unique password to secure your wireless network.
  • Increase your Wi-Fi security by activating network encryption.
  • Turn off the wireless home network when you’re not at home.
  • Keep your router’s software up to date.
  • Enhance protection for the devices most frequently connected to your home network.

Learn some hacking skills

John Rigney, cofounder and CTO of Locust Point, Baltimore-based cybersecurity talent training company Point3 Security, gave this advice on how to keep yourself safe from bad actors on the internet:

  • Worried about people watching you through your webcam? Cover it with tape.
  • Worried about people hearing you through a computer’s mic? Disable the microphone.
  • Keep your computer and mobile devices’ software up to date.
  • Learn a little bit about how people hack so you can identify the side effects of a potential breach on your devices.


Here are some more resources to learn a little bit of hacking:

Know any cybersecurity resources and skills we missed? Send a note to and we’ll add it to the list.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Point3 Security
Series: Cybersecurity Month 2022

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