College Students Urged To Protect Their Electronic Devices

Posted on August 14, 2013

College has changed quite a bit over the past couple of decades.  Nowadays, it’s more common to see a student typing out notes on a laptop or even a tablet than it is to see them jotting down scribbles in a notebook.  As such, cyber security has become incredibly important.  Persons with less than honorable intentions understand that a student union or a lecture hall is a veritable repository of sensitive data, and if you’re college-bound, you must make sure your electronic devices are protected from hackers with the advice contained in a new report.

Too many students trade convenience for security, but this is a mistake.  You should have a password on your computer that you have to type in before you’re able to engage in anything.  This should be the case whether your laptop or computer is shut down completely or just put to sleep.  The same goes for any email or social applications; instead of just logging you in automatically when you visit, make sure you set things up so that the password has to be entered every single time.

Students also have to make sure that their every password isn’t PASSWORD, or really any other single word.  In fact, a student should use a different password for every account or security measure they have in place.  There are various password manager applications out there you can invest in.  If you go it alone, though, make sure you’re utilizing a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and even symbols so that password strength is increased.

You’ll want to keep all this information to yourself, and that’s far from the only thing you want to keep to yourself.  In today’s socially connected world, it’s tempting to post online every detail of your activities for your friend’s to see.  But even something as seemingly innocuous as posting your birthday gives potential saboteurs one more piece of data they can use to crack security, and writing that you’re going to a party just lets people know your dorm room or apartment is susceptible to thievery.  Realize that privacy is important.

Understand too that the wi fi network you’re taking advantage of at your school’s campus may not have the best security.  Chances are there’s one hall or far-flung corner of the campus where the wireless connection being used doesn’t have adequate safeguards in place.  Because of this, tread lightly on connections not secured by a password.  The report strongly urges the purchase of a Virtual Private Network Utility.  That would be wise moving forward.

Finally, don’t fall for shady emails and websites.  Torrents and similar sites can contain code that’s specifically designed to lodge into your computer, so you should avoid such sites.  Plus, don’t click any links that seem suspect or are from someone you don’t recognize.  That goes for social media too.

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