5 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Cybersecurity

5 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Cybersecurity

Last Updated on January 16, 2022 by Editor Futurescope

As a college student, virtually everything you need to do is online — from submitting assignments to making payments. While you may have a good grasp of using the Internet, you might not know much about cybersecurity. In fact, the idea of being the victim of a cyber attack could seem far-fetched. 

However, college campuses are a hot-spot for cybercrimes. Hackers are drawn to the large amounts of personal data contained in college databases and often threaten to leak or sell it unless they’re paid off. Although this is out of your hands, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself as you use the Internet.

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Ensure You Visit Only Encrypted Websites

You might have searched for someone to write my essay for me and come across websites that begin with HTTP. Unlike those sites, the EssayHub essay service has a website that begins with HTTPS. That means it’s secure, and any information you input is encrypted and unusable to hackers in case of a data leak. 

Websites that begin with HTTP are generally unsecured, and your information is vulnerable to hackers as it’s not encrypted. Therefore, it’s recommended to always check the website you’re visiting to ensure it’s safe and doesn’t leave you exposed to a cyber attack. 

Attackers mainly create lookalikes of website login pages in hopes of stealing your credentials. This could be your school email, social media, or your bank account. They could impersonate you and scam your friends and family or steal from you. These are known as phishing attacks or scams. 

So, the next time you’re searching for an essayservice online, make sure the website is secure by confirming it begins with HTTPS. 

Oversharing on Social Media Could Leave You Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

Social networks tend to encourage oversharing. Such actions have proven to be detrimental in some cases. It’s best to avoid sharing personal information like your phone number, address, name of your school, or your current location. 

Review your privacy settings to ensure the information on your profile isn’t viewable to the public. If need be, privatize your posts to only show among your closest friends and family. Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know. 

In addition, do not respond to messages prompting you to click on a link, even from people you know. Instead, confirm with them first through a phone call. They might be hacked. Use caution when posting photos and ensure they do not reveal details about your whereabouts or any sensitive information. 

If you’re on a trip, it’s best to post pictures of the vacation when you’re back home. Burglars might use this information to break into your home while you’re away, or a stalker might follow you on your trip.

Social networks help bring people together and create lasting connections, but it’s crucial to enhance social privacy to ward off attackers. 

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Poor Password Habits Can Be Costly

Having a strong password plays a significant role in protecting oneself from a cyber attack. It’s the first line of defense between an account and an unauthorized user. However, poor password habits involve more than password strength.

A recent study by Panda Security reveals that 27% of Americans have tried to hack into another person’s account. Out of that percentage, 17% were successful. More than that, over half of Americans use the same password across multiple platforms.

Use different passwords for all your accounts to avoid being compromised if you’re the victim of a cyber hack. As an added measure, create a two-step verification when the option is available. It’s also advisable to change your passwords once every three months; otherwise, you may be vulnerable to various password attacks.

Use a VPN for an Added Layer of Security

Use a VPN for an Added Layer of Security

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, performs two major security functions. First, it changes your IP address. This hides your location from third parties like ad trackers. 

Second, it encrypts your data, making it difficult for your personal information to be accessed. These combined functions of a VPN allow you to browse the Internet anonymously. 

Inoculate Your Devices and Back Up Your Data

Inoculation of your devices means installing an antivirus or antimalware program. These programs run in the background and keep your device safe by monitoring and flagging any suspicious activity. It’s best to invest in trusted antivirus programs and avoid downloading them from unofficial websites. 

It’s equally important to constantly update your software and install any security updates that come out. They help keep your devices safe from security threats by patching any security flaws that might have previously existed. 

Back up your data to the cloud or onto an external hard drive in case attackers carry out a ransomware attack. This is when hackers steal your data and ask for a fee to give it back. 

Once you backed up the data, it’s recommended that you delete it from your device to keep it from being accessed by an attacker. Backing up your data also allows you to easily recover it in case of an attack or any technical-related issues. 

What to Do in Case You’re Hacked

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you in the unfortunate event of a cyber attack: 

  • inform your friends and family; 
  • change your passwords;
  • inoculate your device to get rid of malware;
  • check and change your account settings;
  • inform the authorities if your identity is stolen.

Conclusion

Remember, you can prevent the majority of cyber attacks by taking precautions. Follow the suggestions above to protect your data from dangerous third parties. 

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