Quiz: Are You A Hacker's Best Friend?


Beef up your cyber know-how with a few quick tips.

When Nextgov launched its Personal Cybersecurity Assessment, we expected most of our readers would score well.

So far, 64 percent of the readers who have taken our quiz discovered they were good guardians, while 20 percent of you made the top of the class: certified cybersecure.

To the one respondent who is a hacker’s best friend: We failed you.

So learn from the people who have taken the assessment already and boost your score. Here is what we know about them:

  • Only 35 percent of quiz-takers use two-factor authentication on everything. A bit more use it on work stuff, but we’ll remind you of a few recent—and massive— data dumps that included usernames and passwords floating around on less savory parts of the web. Yahoo’s breach of 500 million accounts. Dropbox’s breach of 70 million accounts. Two-factor authentication makes those passwords less valuable.
  • Less than a third know what PGP is. PGP, or Pretty Good Privacy, is a widely accepted encryption tool that shields email from interception by… well, whoever isn’t supposed to get it.
  • About 43 percent use password-storage apps, though security experts say physical security is sometimes the best security. The folks who write passwords down on paper and store them in a locked drawer are more secure than the app users.
  • More than half use numbers in place of letters in passwords, which used to be a good practice. Hackers, however, are getting more sophisticated and know to substitute common letter-number combinations.  

Feel like you can do a better? Try the assessment again.