You may be a member of a community service organization and work to assist people to become self-sufficient, but do you work within the network security culture? Can you gain trust by teaching networking fundamentals that will enhance your security posture? What about criminal networks, drug users, or other criminal offenders that you interact with on a regular basis?

What if a prospective client becomes aware of the fact that you’ve been duped into participating in a scam – he or she may continue on without you. You could be left out of pocket with a charge that the victim never incurred.

What’s more, it is likely that others may be misled by this potential fraudsters to participate in similar scams as well. Unfortunately, such incidents can occur anytime and anywhere and are easier to avoid than you might think.

Thus, be certain that your credentials are in the best possible hands and you are working on those foundations before you begin to network. The majority of school systems and most private employers offer their own network security training program and that is typically only the beginning. Many institutions do not offer any training beyond that.

Often times, the majority of students at colleges and universities will sign up for a program online. This means that they don’t even see your face or identify yourself until you complete your “home study” portion of the program.

This makes it harder to communicate with your students as well and may cause some college students to avoid it altogether. But, as noted above, the best and most secure employees are those who take the time to invest the time and money to learn the basics of network security.

When you work with an instructor that provides the same types of educational seminars as those found at trade schools, you are able to participate in your home study training program online. The classes generally last around four hours and begin with an introduction to computer security and the Internet.

While this can seem like a lot of reading, you are able to focus on the necessary reading required to understand what you are learning about. With the Internet as your teaching guide, you’ll also have access to the same resources for your study.

Once you have completed the foundation phase of the program, you then move on to the second part of the program – a step called “hands on” – and this often gets the students asking the same basic question over again: “How do I network?” In addition, many individuals find that working with others online is similar to speaking with other peers who have worked with you.

Yet, it is the abilities you gain from working with others that will be the determining factor on whether you are truly able to protect your network or not. And, when you develop your skills, you’ll be able to support and educate others and begin to build your own reputation within the industry.

It is always a good idea to learn how to protect yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to work alongside the criminals. As previously mentioned, if you already know basic network security skills, you’ll be able to provide guidance and education to those that need it.

On the other hand, if you’re a student that doesn’t need help, you can focus on learning how to use your computer. If you are an individual that works with the public – especially if you’re an employee at a non-profit agency – you will want to build relationships with clients and teach others how to protect themselves from these individuals and how to avoid becoming a victim.