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Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, manage a company, or even want to work in information security, it’s crucial to have up-to-date knowledge of how to stay safe on the internet. Even something as simple as checking your company’s bank account on public WiFi without a virtual private network (VPN) can result in a hacker getting quick access. Incidents like this one shows why it is important for you to understand the fundamentals of cybersecurity, no matter your profession.
Kristina Podnar, a digital policy consultant and author of “The Power of Digital Policy,” told Insider that the need to understand cybersecurity is essential to the world that we are living in today — and to prepare for the future. “In the next 10 to 15 years, we will become so digital that cybersecurity fluency will be needed at home, at work, at the store, at the restaurant, and other places in order to keep you physically and mentally safe,” she said.
As such, it also makes cybersecurity a rapidly growing industry — the US Bureau of Labor predicts a 31% growth in information security analyst jobs within the next decade. So not only will learning cybersecurity skills help keep you safe, it can push you towards a new career path. The average salary of an information security analyst is $99,730 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, so investing time into learning about cybersecurity may pay off in the long run.
One easy way to start learning about cybersecurity is by taking online courses. Podnar says when reviewing which class to take, “It is essential to choose a program or course that teaches you the basics before you dive into the deep end of the pool.” She also recommends checking when a course was created or has been updated because cybersecurity is constantly changing. “Eyeing something from 2013 is a bad idea and likely will teach you not just outdated practices, but ones that can put you at risk,” Podnar said.
To help you learn about cybersecurity, whether you want to protect yourself and your company or are considering an information security career, we gathered nine courses and multi-course specializations, some of which can be audited for free.