While attending college, students will often come in contact with several digital safety risks that are easily preventable. Whether it’s from the public Wi-Fi in the dining hall or the strange email you received at 4 a.m., students should take the necessary precautions to protect their devices and themselves. In 2018, Internet crime victims under 20 faced $12.5 million in financial losses. We’re providing some tips to help your college years become safe ones.
Install preventative software:
With the integration of digital technology into the college classroom, it’s essential to have a laptop with you while at school. It’s also important to make sure your device is protected from any harm as the damage could be costly and could hold you back from upcoming assignments and responsibilities. Before you start using your laptop in excess, find an antivirus software that blocks as many viruses as possible. Computer viruses come in all shapes and sizes these days, including malware, adware, phishing, ransomware, spam emails, social networking scams, and more.
Oftentimes students can be targeted in online scams because their names are now tied to a college email that could be hacked by cybercriminals. This is where phishing comes into play. College students will hear a lot of warnings about phishing as it usually affects those in large companies, colleges, or other businesses that have mass email accounts. Never open an email that looks suspicious and always report them to IT or other management.
Connect to private networks:
As you progress throughout your college career, being in public areas will become a normal occurrence. Shared spaces, offices, and public buildings are a part of your daily life – no matter what time of day. Not only does this subject you to strangers, but it can make you vulnerable to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You might think connecting to public Wi-Fi is a harmless act, but it’s not. When devices connect to a free public Internet connection, it’s oftentimes saying goodbye to your privacy. Usually, anyone else who is on the same network as you can take a deep dive into what you’re accessing through your mobile device. Virtual private networks can help protect you in these situations. This service creates a private network from a public online connection. It masks your IP address and your Internet browsing actions to make your term paper research in the library virtually untraceable to those who might be spying digitally. A VPN service can be downloaded on all of your mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) and is easy to use and connect to.
Use social media with caution:
As most young people know, social media has become our most popular form of communication. Mobile devices are in our pockets, purses, laps, and usually our hands, but do you know how to approach social media with caution? Here are some social media guidelines to keep you safer while using the Internet:
The internet can be both a lovely and scary place, so it’s up to us to do what we can. If you have any more cybersecurity tips, please feel free to share them with us!