The clock may be ticking until students head back to school, but there's no final countdown on our passion for empowering people of all backgrounds who love to #LearnOnTikTok. This back to school season, TikTok hopes to inspire students, families, and seasoned professionals of all ages to #BeCyberSmart.

We believe it's important to help bring representation into the cybersecurity industry through programs designed to diversify, educate, and empower. With over 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs unfilled across the fast-growing cybersecurity sector, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, TikTok is championing a new #SeeYourselfinCyber initiative from the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA). Whether connecting Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students to the cybersecurity job of their dreams or creating a new scholarship program through Cyversity, we're committed to nurturing next-generation talent and helping under-represented minorities start or advance their career.

“TikTok is helping us tackle the need for more cybersecurity professionals, specifically in the disproportionate underrepresentation of women and minority populations,” said Beverly Benson, Executive Director at Cyversity. “Individuals from underserved communities will be able to receive training for in-demand security roles through this innovative program.”

To make strong online choices easier, TikTok and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) developed an interactive Cybersecurity Toolkit for Individuals. The toolkit provides a step-by-step guide with free tools and resources to help everyone defend their digital footprint.

"People get confused about what to do to protect themselves online, but they don't need to," said Phil Reitinger, President and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. "It's easy for content creators and families everywhere to make significant strides to protect themselves and their privacy by using the Cybersecurity Toolkit for Individuals from GCA and TikTok."

Here are some of our favorite tips to follow - whether at school, work, home, or on the go - and everywhere you may be online.

  • Double check for typos: Emails, texts, or DMs from people you don't know with spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors may be phishing or smishing attempts. Don't click on suspicious links, report spam-like activity, and block these senders.
  • Be wary of fake offers: Look out for scammers posing as employers. Recruiters or hiring managers will use an email address that matches their company, and they won't ask for personal information or money in exchange for securing an interview or being certified for a role.
  • Avoid public meeting links: Don't post or share links to a virtual classroom on social media or other publicly available websites. Only make links available to specific attendees, and require a password or use the waiting room feature for the host to control who joins.
  • Protect everything connected: Enable automatic updates to protect your family's smartphones, computers, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices from viruses and malware.

For students, professionals, or career changers looking for inspiration and empowerment to #SeeYourselfInCyber, check out NCA's Career & Education Guide for a vast collection of free resources. You can also explore open roles with TikTok's Global Security Organization in New York, Washington DC, Mountain View, Los Angeles, Nashville, Dublin, Singapore, and more. For recent and upcoming graduates, applications for TikTok's Early Career program opens September 5 and will be filled on a rolling basis.