Guide to cybersecurity for college students
How to stay safe online in college: Top expert recommendations
College students, as representatives of the young generation, are more digitally connected than all other people using the benefits of smartphones and the Internet to improve their academic performance, attend lectures remotely and use the help of different educational services (like writing services mentioned in the edubirdie review). All American students have smartphones, 72% of them use social media and different web content for educational purposes, and 55% have experienced cyber-attacks at least once in their lives. As college students constantly use public networks to get Internet access, they become perfect targets for data thieves from fake accounts to sudden credit card charges.
Why are college students so vulnerable? According to one online security expert, many students become victims of cyber attacks just because they are naïve and not informed about possible dangers and their consequences. The lack of knowledge makes their personal data insecure and may even lead to losing money. One of the most popular reasons for cyber thefts become:
- entering important information on public computers,
- not following cybersecurity practices (the same passwords, etc.);
- not reviewing their financial balance regularly;
- having clean credit history (easy approval for thieves undetected for years);
- leaving devices unsecured in a dorm;
- using multiple devices;
- identifying personal information on social media.
How to protect your online safety in college
With data theft becoming a growing problem, one of the possible dangers is using different writing services unless they are proved to be reliable in reviews like good study bay review (one of such services can also be considered papercoach.net). But there are more things to worry about in everyday college activities. For example, be careful in:
- Online shopping
From textbooks and clothing to devices and groceries, many students enjoy the benefits of online shopping and quick delivery. However, it comes with certain risks. We recommend not shopping using open Wi-Fi networks where hackers can easily get your CC data, make secure payments using PayPal and beware of online advertisements that can ask you to fill sensitive information and then use it. Check the stores you are shopping from as there are many fake ones that don`t have a physical address and their information is questionable;
- Email communication
Students send emails every day for different purposes, from connecting with their mentor to sending a completed essay. You should watch out for phishing scams, spam, fraudulent emails, and other suspicious things. To keep safe, avoid emails with such subject lines as «Your bank account has been frozen. Please contact…». Don`t hesitate to give a call to your bank to check if everything is okay. Don`t click on links before you hover the mouse on it and check the URL: it should not be different from the one mentioned in the email. Don`t open attachments unless the sender is familiar to you, always check the sender;
- Social media
It is one of the key sources serving as a getaway for cyber attacks. Using Facebook, Instagram, or any other social network, don`t share your personal information (address, phone, SS number, etc.): this is tip number one and doesn`t need explaining. Set security setting hiding information from people you don`t know, verify friend requests from strangers and think twice before publishing a picture with geolocation or another tag.
Even though it seems too much, believe us, you will thank yourself for doing these simple checks when you see your friends experiencing cyber attacks and their consequences.