The vastness of the internet is unprecedented, and there are no signs of ebbing. More users are getting access much faster than the previous years, and the numbers keep increasing.
A certain percentage of the netizen population rely on campus networks for internet access in school. However, not all institutions provide secure network access for traffic monitoring and restrictions.
It means that the student mostly holds the responsibility of protecting themselves while on the internet. Below are some of the fundamental tips for students to protect their online information.
Visit Only Secure Online Stores
It would be best if you shopped online using secure site networks. Online purchases go beyond mainstream consumer products and – for a student – can include educational materials and software.
Since you would be sharing credit card/bank details to make a payment online, you must check for standard security. Examine the URL to be sure the “HTTPS://” protocol exists and that you are not relying on public internet connection.
Seek out reviews on the site for an additional security layer; a student community does not have too many divisive opinions on the student-related product website, so you get to decide on purchase in much less time.
Beware of Ransomeware
Ransomeware is malicious software that modifies the document permissions in a computer so that the owner can no longer access their files unless they pay a “ransom.” Nowadays, students are more vulnerable to ransomware attacks than the average internet user.
Ransomeware usually comes into a computer through the internet; be wary of downloading attachments from unsecured websites or unknown emails. If you get hit by ransomware, do not be quick to meet the demands of the hackers; it may seem challenging to decide paying the ransom, but weigh your recovery options before making the decision.
Have a Local Backup
Be it research project materials or shared online class materials, keeping a local backup helps to safeguard your online student information. Servers and networks could suffer breaches, causing data loss; a local backup would mean that your materials and software reside offline, and you don’t have to begin from scratch.
Take Care of the Passwords
The one thing a student (or anyone for that matter) should not do is use one password for different online services; hackers can gain access to more accounts than they should, in case of a breach. Student accounts on university blogs can be easy targets given they rely on an open network, so you might want to use a unique password.
Furthermore, passwords with more extended characters stand a better chance, especially when the strings combine alphabets, numbers, and symbols. Ensure that it is complicated yet comfortable for you to remember.
One other thing is to keep a note of password sharing. There are many ways you could share your passwords, and you should minimize sharing altogether. Do not give friends or other people your email passwords; open an incognito tab on your browser for persons who wish to lend your device to use the internet. Modern browsers sometimes log password details, which would then be available for later use. Anyone with access to the browser can see the passwords.
Password manager software is an excellent recommendation for multiple passwords and suitable for students who have different passwords between school and personal accounts. The highlight advantage is that you only have to memorize one password – the password manager’s – and let the software handle the rest.
Most of the services sync over the internet, so you don’t have to worry when you move through devices. Most importantly, it keeps you from writing down passwords and logins on paper or a notepad app on your phone.
Limit Public Computer Use
Campus networks and servers are more prone to breaches and hacks due to their openness. Public computers have few security features against an attack, leaving users vulnerable at every session.
With the advent of powerful smartphones, there are viable alternatives to public computers. You must consider these alternatives, especially if you frequently share sensitive data over the internet.
Information protection is essential for every internet user, and for students with multiple accounts between school and work, additional steps are reasonable. Due to campus networks’ open nature and the relative ease in breaching education-related websites, students are more vulnerable to internet hacks and attacks.
The effects of information attacks could be far-reaching for the victim, often resulting in identity theft or something similarly sinister. The steps listed above are some of the first lines of protection against information theft and attacks.