The Biggest Cybersecurity Lesson We Learned from the Equifax Hack

It played out like a cybersecurity horror film.

Between mid-May through July, nearly 143 million Americans had their personal identifiable information (PII) stolen by hackers who breached the consumer credit reporting agency’s cyberdefenses. While the investigation is still underway, preliminary reports blame vulnerabilities in Equifax’s backend software; a popular application called Apache Struts, a well-known and respected product used in more than 60 percent of the world’s Fortune 500 companies.

Whether you have a vested interest in cybersecurity or you’re the average American consumer, Equifax’s epic data breach was more than unsettling; it was downright terrifying on a massive scale. The company trusted to safeguard our sensitive financial data had the security of its data compromised.

Topics: Cybersecurity

10 Simple Tips to Step Up Your Online Safety and Security

Did you know that 594 million people are affected by cybercrime each year?

So it makes sense why hardly a week goes by without hearing of a mega data breach that exposes the personal identifiable information (PII) of countless people to those with malicious intent. These breaches then dominate the headlines and draw the attention – and fears – of users.

What is less known is that more than 95 percent of all breaches have a common denominator: human interaction. Whether intentional or unintentional, most breaches are triggered by people who are either ignorant of cyberhygiene or have made a careless mistake in their online activities.

Topics: Areas of Study and Degree Programs, Cybersecurity

4 Revising Tactics for a Better Paper (And a Better Grade)

If you ask any colleague, friend or classmate to describe the steps of writing a successful paper, they might say that first you plan, then you draft and then you revise. 

But if you watch most people writing a paper, it goes more like this:

They open a document, stare at a blank screen for a few hours, type some things, grab a snack, type some more things, run Spell Check and turn it in. No final read through, no editing and no enhancing. For many people, revising includes Spell Check – and that’s it.

Topics: Taking Courses, Going Back to College

How to Create a Degree Plan Strategy in 3 Steps

Have you ever played Tetris?

In this classic video game, geometric shapes comprised of four square blocks fall at random while each piece must fit into a corresponding open slot to eliminate a row.

Creating a degree plan works in a similar way. 

Instead of falling shapes, you will use transfer credits, exams and other prior learning assessment (PLA) methods to fill as many slots as possible to complete the requirements of your degree.

Then, you will take online courses to fill in the rest of the slots.

This is what’s known as a degree plan strategy. At traditional schools, students typically only identify the courses that they hope to register for in the next semester. As an adult learner with credits already earned and knowledge you can leverage for credit, you can plan more long range than the upcoming term and identify any number of methods, opportunities or courses to take in the future for earning those remaining credits.

Topics: Transfer Credit, Going Back to College, Advising

7 Expert Tips to Nail the Job Interview

You’ve done your research, emailed your cover letter and resume, and waited (patiently?) to hear back.

And now, you get the call for an interview. Congratulations!

But the job is not yours yet. The interview is a big step, and it is time to prepare.

You need to be as prepared as possible for the day of your interview. Nothing can hurt your job prospects more than scrambling at the last minute, getting to the interview late and appearing disorganized. Here are seven tips to prepare for your interview so you project the confidence and readiness necessary to get the job done.

Topics: Careers

5 Alternative College Credit Options That Can Fast-Track Your Degree

Years ago, the only way you could earn college credit was by sitting in a classroom for a set number of hours each week, carting around a stack of heavy textbooks as you shuffled from room to room, building to building or, even worse, campus to campus. In the cold. In the rain. No excuses.

Since then, a lot has changed.

Instead, your textbooks can be carried on a sleek and slim tablet while the hours you spend “in class” are entirely at your discretion. And your learning can happen anywhere, whether your classroom today is your dining room or some exotic locale.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment, Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

Meet CaptureSpace: Create and Edit Videos for Your Online Courses

Online learning is as engaging as ever – just visit any online classroom and you can see how learning is moving beyond the textbook.

For example, back in 2016, the University launched a set of tools that is changing the way students connect, collaborate and engage in the online classroom; we are also beginning to incorporate video content into courses, so no matter which industry you work in or degree program you are studying, learning about and using this kind of relevant technology is vital for any discipline

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses

7 Essential Steps for Adults Returning to College

I’ve read that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

And when you’re considering returning to college, that first step can feel like an intimidating one. Maybe you picture that step with a giant gapping crevice in the middle, panicked by the multitude of essentials you need to consider before you can even lace up your shoes to begin that journey.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, these tips will help quell your fears and guide you toward making the right decisions for you, like a degree-pursuit Sherpa. So here’s how you can turn that single step into a running leap and ensure your journey is a successful one.

Topics: Going Back to College

Speak a Foreign Language? These 6 Exam Programs Can Help You Earn College Credit for It

According to the Ethnologue, the official catalogue of world languages, there are currently an estimated 7,099 living languages worldwide. How many can you speak?

Whether you know a second language or you’re the world’s greatest living linguist (the world record is 42), studies have shown that knowing another language provides many rewards in the form of increased cognitive capacity and broadened knowledge, let alone the ability to bridge social barriers.

It also gives you the ability to earn college credit. Depending on your linguistic skill level, there are a variety of exams that allow you to earn credit toward your degree by testing your foreign language proficiency. Some of these credit-by-exam programs focus on the oral/speaking aspects of a language, while others test your writing, translating and listening abilities. In fact, if you already speak another language fluently, a single exam can earn you upwards of 12 credits!

Topics: Credit by Exam

Should I Get an Associate Degree Before a Bachelor’s Degree?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I often hear a version of this theoretical question as it relates to earning a college degree. Of course, prospective applicants to the University ask me if they should earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree first, and not my theories on fowl evolution.

When it comes to which college degree to initially start, the most obvious answer is that one takes a shorter amount of time to earn than the other; an associate degree usually requires 60 credits, whereas most bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits, or four years at traditional institutions. But does that mean you should pursue the shorter degree first? Or, at all?

Topics: Going Back to College