Video series: It’s Cybersecurity 101 for all of us working at home


Doug Jacobson explains cybersecurity at home in a new series of videos.

Iowa State’s Doug Jacobson explains the ABCs of at-home cybersecurity in a new series of videos. Larger photo. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

AMES, Iowa – Maybe your office these days is a laptop in the living room. Or an old desktop in the den. Or a basement setup with a spotty Wi-Fi connection. Or just a phone in your pocket.

However you #WFH, the tools you’re using are connected to the internet. And bad things could happen to your devices or your data if you’re not careful. So what do you do without an IT staff, experience in a Cyber Defense Competition or a major in cyber security engineering?

A team led by Doug Jacobson, a University Professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Iowa State University’s Information Assurance Center, has just the thing for you: a series of videos walking you through the ABCs of at-home cybersecurity.

“It started with the Iowa Cyber Hub,” said Jacobson, referring to a cybersecurity education and outreach partnership between Iowa State and Des Moines Area Community College. “DMACC faculty were getting questions from people about working online and at home.”

That started some discussions about how to teach “cybersecurity essentials for everybody,” Jacobson said. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for years. But it never made it to the top of the stack until now.”

The result is a video series – “I’m Working from Home. Now what?” – to be posted online. You can access the free videos by filling out a short form at iowacyberhub.org.

“The overall goals of this series are to identify common cybersecurity threats, be ready to combat cyberthreats, understand how cybersystems work and recognize how to stay safe,” Jacobson says in the introduction to the first video.

Topics will include email security, password authentication, adding office hardware to your home network and many other issues.

In addition to the videos, Jacobson said there will be tip sheets with more technical details and resources.

With more and more of us working remotely right now, Jacobson said the time is right to raise the state’s cybersecurity literacy.

“This is a way to help people who have questions,” he said. “All of us have challenges and issues that come from working at home. We’re online more right now and therefore we’re more of a target.”

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