The rise of the Internet has brought tremendous benefits to people’s education. But, it also makes people targets to hackers and theft of sensitive information, which is why every student must learn about online cyber security at some point.
These days, almost every student owns a smart device or a laptop. This immense use of technology brings up devastating statistics for young people – 55% of Americans aged 18 through 29 experience data theft.
Learning cybersecurity tricks is crucial if you want to protect your personal information, as well as your academic writings from cyber attacks. Viruses can delete your papers, cyber thieves can steal an identity, and let’s not even think about those vengeful ex-friends or partners that may ruin your online reputation. Everything is cybercrime and you must protect yourself from it.
Many students think that their school has all the security they need. Yes, the people at your IT department will thwart some of the hack attacks and keep the school network from crashing, but this doesn’t make academic institutions cyber security colleges.
That being said, you should use the following online cyber security tips on a regular basis.
1. Check Your Bank Statements Regularly
Most people today have access to online bank statements or receive them at the end of the month. Try to check this statement as often as possible. There are thieves that won’t quite empty out your account, but will sneakily take smaller amounts of money over longer periods of time. If you don’t pay attention, it won’t raise suspicion, but they’ll hurt your already limited budget.
2. Back-Up All of Your Data
The best way to promote computer security is by backing up the data on your devices. Nowadays, there are many options to do this. You can keep your important information in a safe place, such as a secure cloud, get an external hard drive, etc.
3. Don’t Click on Everything You See
This goes without saying, but think twice before you click on everything you like. If something sounds too good to be true, it is often too good to be true. If you’re in doubt about a company or service that you’re interested in learning more about, or a site you want to sign up to, Google it first to get some information.
4. Be Careful with Public Computers
You’re probably carrying your own device with you everywhere you go, but campus libraries will also have public computers. At some point, you’ll have to use a public computer. When you do, make sure you use it wisely. Don’t save passwords, log out of profiles, and try not to access sites that reveal your banking or sensitive information.
5. Don’t Shop on Strange Websites
Shopping online can be addictive and will give you more options than you can get in actual stores. However, not everything that looks good will come as such. Also, not every website will be safe to use. So, shop with caution. If you want to buy something from a new store, make sure to Google it first. Review the privacy policies of such websites.
6. Be Careful About Where You Share Your Personal Data
Even when you’re trying to get something for free, like for example a small book of tips to choose a right essay topic, don’t reveal your personal information upon signing up unless you’re certain that the website is safe to use.
7. Always Have an Updated Security System in Place
If you don’t have one, get one as soon as possible. There are plenty of affordable options of anti-viruses, as well as free trial versions that will keep your data safe until you get the money to opt for a paid version. When you pick an online cyber security system, search for one that doesn’t just protect you from viruses, but also filters from span and provides firewall protection.
8. Register Your Devices
It is always wise to register your device. At school, register it with the campus police. It boosts the odds of your device making it back safely to your possession. Also, it will come handy if you ever have to make a police report.
9. Enable ‘Find my Phone’
Modern phones have a ‘find my phone’ option that you can enable so that you can track the phone down if you misplace it. There are also plenty of downloadable apps that will help you track your phone if you lose it or have it stolen.
Data theft is something you hardly think of until it happens to you. Cyber-attacks are more and more frequent every day and, to avoid falling victim to such theft, you need to take all the precautions possible. To keep yourself and your data secure, use the nine tips above.