In the XXI century, the danger is waiting for us not only offline but also online. Students who can’t imagine their lives without social networks, download cracked licensed programs for free, search for essay papers for sale, use email, and various messengers are especially vulnerable to cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s essential to introduce them to the basic rules of cybersecurity. We have prepared an ultimate guide for college students with tips to protect their data and devices online.
Security tips for public Wi-Fi networks
Free Internet access in cafes, hotels, and airports is a great way to surf the Internet. But many experts believe that public Wi-Fi networks are not secure.
- Do not send your personal information via public Wi-Fi networks. When you are connected to public Wi-Fi networks, it is advisable not to enter passwords, logins or any private data;
- Use and update your antivirus software and firewall. By doing so, you will protect yourself from downloading the virus to your device;
- Disable File and Printer Sharing when using Wi-Fi. This feature is closed by default, but some users activate it to simplify their work or study;
- Do not use public Wi-Fi to transmit personal information, such as social network accounts or email;
- Use only a secure connection via HTTPS and not HTTP.
- Disable the “Connect to Wi-Fi automatically” function in your cell phone. Do not allow your device to connect to Wi-Fi networks without your permission automatically.
Security on social networks
Many users do not realize that the information they post on social networks can be found and used by anyone, but not necessarily with good intentions.
- Protect your privacy. Do not provide passwords, phone numbers, addresses, your date of birth, or other personal information. Cybercriminals can even use data about how you and your parents plan to spend your vacation;
- Protect your reputation. Keep it clean and ask yourself the question: Would you like other users to see what you upload? Think before you post, write, and upload something;
- If you’re talking to people you don’t know, don’t share your personal information.
- Use complex passwords when registering on a social network. You should use complex passwords consisting of letters and numbers and with at least eight characters. If you have problems compiling such passwords, you can always use various random password generators.
- It would be best if you used different passwords for social networks, email, and other websites. Then, if you are hacked, attackers will only have access to one place, not all at once.
How to deal with cyberbullying?
- Don’t get into a fight. If you start to return insults in kind, you will only ignite the conflict even more;
- Manage your cyber reputation;
- Online anonymity is imaginary. There are ways to find out who’s behind the anonymous account;
- The Internet captures all your actions, saves, and keeps them. It will be tough to remove your negative online legacy. Think about before doing something reckless;
- It’s better to ignore offensive messages. Aggression usually stops at an early stage;
- Do not hesitate to block and ban the bullies. You are not a masochist to endure their abuse.
Essential tips to fight phishing
Nowadays, you won’t surprise anyone with the ordinary stealing of money and documents. With the development of Internet technologies, the intruders have moved to the Internet and continued their business. Internet fraud or phishing is a new thread. Its primary purpose is to obtain confidential user data — logins and passwords.
Protection against phishing includes following several basic security rules on the Internet.
- First of all, you must not share any confidential data such as your bank card pin code, e-mail password, or social network accounts with anyone under any circumstances. Neither the bank nor the social network will ask for this information via email;
- Install a good antivirus with the latest antivirus database. As a rule, all modern antiviruses protect against spyware and malware. Social networks and browsers also warn users when they visit a suspicious website. Do not ignore these warnings. If a social network recommends that you should not click on a link, that’s a piece of advice you must listen to. If your email is flagged as spam, their security department is likely to have good reason to.
- Always pay attention to the website design. If the site or branding seems strange, incomplete, fast-tracked, or causes any suspicions, it can be very much that it is a phishing site.
- Pay attention to the address bar in the link. Minor changes to the web address may lead you to a completely different website (for example, goagle.com instead of google.com). You should also be careful with shortened links (like bit.ly), as you cannot tell what is behind them.
- Emails from unknown addresses that appeal to emotions or are of an emergency nature should be the first to raise suspicions. Emails that start with such statements as “Your account is hacked!” or “Your profile will be blocked!” or, conversely, announce a big win, are fraudulent in most cases. And you don’t think that you might have had an aunt in another country that has left a fortune to you, do you?
- Beware of accessing bank web accounts via public Wi-Fi access points. Fraudsters may intercept your personal information. It is better to use the mobile Internet or a secure connection.
- If you find a phishing message from a familiar company or service, report it to the company. The company will likely take steps to protect you as a customer better. You can also contact the web hosting provider of that site and leave a complaint. Most hosting companies close phishing websites when they receive such messages. In doing so, you can help other users who may be victims of phishing attacks.
- In fact, it is best never to follow suspicious links. There are often situations where you get a strange link in your email or personal message that is difficult to identify. There may well be a virus or a phishing website behind it. Even if such a link comes from your friend, you should be on the lookout. Your friend’s account could have been hacked, and he has no idea that there is a malicious mailing on his behalf.