Tips to Ensure Web Security and Privacy for College Students

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College students are at high risk for getting all kinds of information stored on their laptops, tablets, luggage, and dorm rooms. Unfortunately, workers who don’t have access to a highly protected campus network fear being the victim of unwanted intrusions. In this way, bad guys are able to steal the students’ identities, and commit more crimes under their names.

In our world, a large majority of college students use shared and accessible public networks without security knowledge. Because of that, they are continuously at risk of network or database security violations in their graduate lifetime. The internal IT bugs are, of course, the key trigger – which allows universities advising everyone to practise updating their passwords and security settings and keeping an eye on their personal devices/belongings.

In general, students are at risk of cyber attacks from any of the following:

  • •@Campus Wi-Fi

The campus-wide wireless network is essential for students to connect to colleagues, friends, and family without unnecessary delays. It is as unsecure as any other public Wi-Fi, which exposes students to hacking malware, identity theft, potentially more.

  • Workstations.

Software labs can be a difficult problem to work through. The communal workspace risks exposing users’ personal information to hackers and viruses. It’s also likely that there are tiny fragments of browsing history stored in the system which can be used by cyber criminals to access and manipulate it.

Theft.

Hackers may use their abilities for malicious purposes, such as accessing the private data, such as research papers left in the library or bank account information and credit cards stored in the dorm room. Opening up these issues, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and bank fraud.

Harassment.

Cyberstalking includes the use of your images, check-ins, and posts on social media where the stalker uses that information to degrade you. This can be debilitating and cause you to feel unstable.

All these college security issues have caused them to change their policies. However, the institutions require students to take responsibility for their network security and ensure that the network is safe.

Cybersecurity experts say that such steps should be taken to prevent being a cybercrime target.

  1. Secure your devices.

The machine, cell phone, desk, and ipad that you use for work are the things most at risk. Often, the use of a code lock on a device is very sensible, even in the case of burglary. Go through a two step authentication process, always.

  1. Update the infrastructure.

This seems to be a total no-brainer, but a lot of college students do not upgrade their antivirus software or firewall, which is actually very necessary to stay safe against viruses, malware and other threats. Therefore, stop making that mistake.

  1. Study recent bank statements.

It’s not advisable to use those steps every once in a while. Instead, make use a regular part of your day. Regularly check all account statements to make sure that there are no fraudulent activities and that each transaction is fully valid and with your permission.

  1. Make your Shopping Secure

Online shopping is a new-normal these days. And while it is a super-convenient and easy way for all, you have to be cautious the network you use and the website you purchase from. Avoid making transactions over public Wi-Fi. Install VPN instead and use the websites with secured servers.

  1. Safeguard your Payment Information

When making purchases with online retailers, most of the shoppers store their payment details for future use. This becomes the ultimate gateway for cybercriminals to peek inside and use these details for making fraudulent transactions on your behalf. So, for better financial security, never save it online.

  1. Improve your Password Strategy

It is recommended not to use the same password for all your email accounts and services. Also, do not use passwords that are easy to guess for hackers. Keep it at least 12 characters long with a mix of alphabets, numeric, and symbols. And if remembering all of them is hard, use ‘password managers’.

  1. Block Pop-ups from your Browser

Nearly all the browsers like Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer come with built-in settings for preventing pop-ups. That helps in to restrict unnecessary pop-up advertisements and prevent clicking on malicious advertisements. Thus, customize the settings in your browser to avoid missing any legitimate information.

  1. Backup your Data

Creating back-ups of critical documents and files is must if you want to keep the risk of malware or virus infections at bay. Store your work safely on any secondary storage drive or to the cloud. That will help you retrieve your lost data just in case a thief steals your device, or you happen to delete the data accidentally.

  1. Hold yourself from Oversharing

College students tend to use social media for a greater part of their day to keep in touch with their loved ones. But, uploading the little details about your life and everything else backfires too quickly – resulting in burglaries and stalking. So, it is best to limit the information you give away there.

  1. Handle your Data Breach

Campus servers are at high risk of a data breach; which means there is less that you can do to safeguard yourself against the cyberattacks. So, if you see a breach that has impacted your accounts, immediately change all the passwords. Check your bank statements and other sensitive accounts. Contact a data recovery specialist to trace any lost data.

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