In support of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s theme of educating connected device users of how to stay safe online, University of Phoenix is offering a free online cyber hygiene workshop. The workshop provides insights on the methods malicious hackers use in cyberattacks, ranging from phishing emails to man-in-the-middle attacks.

Participants will learn best practices akin to personal hygiene, like brushing one’s teeth, which can help proactively limit breaches and protect personal information. The cyber hygiene video workshop can be found at the bottom of the page.

Additionally, University of Phoenix has released the results of its annual cybersecurity survey. The online, national survey polled 2,000 U.S. adults, of which 859 have been hacked in the past three years. Below are the complete survey findings.

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According to the University survey, 43 percent of U.S. adults have experienced a personal data breach in the past three years. Among those who had been hacked:

When asked about their feelings toward online safety, only 17 percent said that they feel somewhat/more secure form a cyberattack compared to a year ago.

Seventy-eight percent of U.S. adults admit to having at least one “online bad habit”

With more information available online, people must remain vigilant to avoid potential pitfalls that can leave them vulnerable to attacks. However, the survey found that many U.S. adults admitted to having a few “bad online habits” that hackers can exploit.

In Sum, 77 percent of victims learned of a data breach within 72 hours

The longer a data breach goes unnoticed, the more time criminals have to steal data or attack multiple accounts. Just a few hours can be enough time for hackers to obtain credit card numbers, extract personal information or steal someone’s identity.

Often times, criminals use attacks to attempt to steal money or make fraudulent purchases. To help reduce damage, adults can set fraud alerts that notify of suspicious activity, regularly check their accounts and take immediate action if a breach occurs.

Few U.S. adults can identify phishing attacks

While there are methods to assist people in noticing and preventing attacks, methods such as phishing emails often require a keen eye from potential victims. Phishing attacks are fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate, trusted outlets designed to capture personal information willingly given to them.

These attacks can provide criminals with the personal information to access multiple accounts. According to the survey, U.S. adults provide the following information over email:

  • Full name (57 percent)
  • Phone number (51 percent)
  • Home address (50 percent)
  • Date of birth (38 percent)

A personal breach can put employers and colleagues at risk

While data breaches can be devastating to individuals, it is often forgotten that these crimes aren’t limited to a single victim. If a personal account is breached, criminals may be able to use that data to, in turn, access corporate accounts to exploit business data or target colleagues.

U.S. adults are not taking enough precautions to prevent data breaches

Taking proactive steps can help protect accounts and limit the damage of data breaches. U.S. adults are taking some preventative methods. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents use multi-factor authentication on banking sites and more than a quarter use it for email and mobile apps (26 percent). More than half said that they:

  • Avoid opening suspicious emails (61 percent)
  • Avoid clicking on unfamiliar URLs (59 percent)
  • Install firewalls, antivirus and malware protection (52 percent)

However, the survey revealed that US adults may not be doing enough.

Take the free cyber hygiene workshop

U.S. adults can better protect personal information from cybercriminals by improving their cyber hygiene. Cyber hygiene refers to steps that people can take, while using their personal devices and computers, to improve their cybersecurity and better protect themselves online from hackers and other security breaches. Similar to how brushes one’s teeth can prevent diseases and decay, routine cyber hygiene can help prevent data breach occurrences and limit potential damage.

The video lecture highlights some of the top methods cybercriminals use to breach devices – such as man-in-the-middle attacks, Wi-Fi spoofing and phishing – hands-on instructrions on how to secure devices and cyber hygiene best practices.

View the video here.


Sources referenced in the video:

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between April 26 and May 10, 2018 among 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, who work full-time, part-time, are self-employed, are unemployed looking for work, students, or homemakers, of which 859 have been hacked in the past three years. Figures for number of employees were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For complete survey methodology, please contact