Teaching Cybersecurity Awareness to Students: Safeguarding Online Information

In 2021, one in two internet users in America experienced account breaches. This alarming statistic shows how absurdly easy it is for anyone to hack into people’s online accounts. Many businesses protect the data of their employees, but certain groups of people, such as students, are particularly vulnerable.

Students are the ones who heavily depend on technology for communication, education, and financial operations. This makes them a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals. Yet, to help students avoid identity theft, phishing scams, and malware, we’ve decided to share some cybersecurity tips. Whether you want to protect your devices or accounts online, following these tips will help. Read on to learn more!

Common online threats

Navigating the digital landscape can be challenging, especially as hackers continually devise new methods to compromise data. Even though businesses such as Essaypro.com implement advanced security measures to protect their content, students who seek help writing essay are often vulnerable targets for cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s essential for those seeking essay assistance online to be aware of potential internet threats to prevent becoming a victim. Among the most common dangers on the internet are:

  • Spam and phishing scams
  • Viruses and malware
  • Ransomware
  • Data breaches
  • Identity theft
  • Fake websites
  • Romance scams
  • DDoS attacks
  • Incorrect privacy settings

Top 6 cybersecurity tips for students

Now that you’ve learned about the most common online dangers, it is vital to take proactive measures to protect yourself.

1.   Turn on multi-factor authentication

First and foremost, every student should enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible. After that, the login process will take a little bit more time. However, you can be more confident in your accounts’ security.

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is an advanced security measure that necessitates a multi-step sign-in process. Once the MFA is enabled, users are required to provide a second source of identity validation to gain access to their online accounts. Thus, when you turn on MFA, simply entering a password to access your online account is not enough. You should provide additional information, such as a fingerprint, an answer to a personal security question, or an SMS or email code.

Two- or more-factor authentication makes it harder to hack your account and reduces the likelihood of a successful cyber attack. You can either turn on multi-factor authentication or download a third-party authenticator application. Some of the most widely used authentication apps are Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Authy.

2.   Set strong passwords

When it comes to passwords, people make a lot of mistakes. They often set easy-to-guess passwords and use the same password for multiple accounts. Also, they neglect to update their passwords on a regular basis. All of this raises the possibility of identity or financial theft.

It doesn’t matter if you need to protect accounts of the best paper writing services, messengers, or banking apps, strong passwords are required. To create a unique and hard-to-crack password, you need to do the following.

Use a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers. Make sure your password is long enough, 8 to 12 characters or more. Avoid obvious combinations, like “qwerty” or “12345”. Also, don’t use your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, or pet’s name.

If you are not good at creating hard-to-guess passwords, you can use a password manager. A password manager is an online tool for people that find it difficult to create a strong password on their own. It helps people create, store and manage all their passwords. Some of the most popular password managers are LastPass, 1Password, and Keeper.

3.   Limit your use of public Wi-Fi

Did you know that using public Wi-Fi can be dangerous? Many people like to work in cafes, libraries, and co-working spaces. Yet, public Wi-Fi networks are often unprotected, which makes it easier for hackers to access your data.

Thus, we recommend that you avoid using public Wi-Fi networks that are not password-protected or have weak security protocols. If you really need to use it and there are no other options, check whether it is secured with WPA2 encryption. You can find this info in Properties, it should say WEP or WPA2 next to the security type. For better protection, also use a strong password and do not enter any sensitive data (credit card information or personal identification numbers).

4.   Learn how to spot phishing scams

Most cyber crimes are related to phishing. This is one of the most common online scams that can trick people into revealing sensitive information or installing malware. Usually, attackers send people fraudulent emails or messages that appear to be from a valid and trusted source. However, the links inside lead to fake websites designed to steal personal information. Or, the attachments in these emails contain malicious software that can infect the user’s device.

Hackers’ ultimate goal is to steal your money or access your personal information. To prevent this from happening, you should follow a few rules. First, always verify the identity of the sender. Second, don’t click on suspicious links and never download anything from unknown sources. Third, always look out for spelling and grammar errors, inconsistencies in the email address or website URL, and low-quality images. Fraudulent messages often contain these types of mistakes.

5.   Keep your apps and software up to date

To ensure the security of your devices, you should regularly update your operating system, software, and applications. Be especially attentive about the apps related to your money and containing confidential information. New versions of the software usually aim to fix bugs and eliminate any vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

Most people don’t pay attention to application updates, but the consequences can be detrimental. Thus, we advise you to set up automatic installation of updates for your computer, mobile devices, and apps. The latest versions of your operating systems and apps will contain the latest security patches. These can make your devices less susceptible to malware, viruses, and other cyber threats.

6.   Be careful what you share online

Last but not least, you should be careful about what you share online. Posting your passports, credit cards, or tickets is dangerous. Also, avoid sharing personal information such as your home address, phone number, or date of birth. Hackers can use this information to steal your identity.

It is important to keep your life private and only share content that can’t harm you in the future. Always think twice and consider the security implications before hitting that “share” button.

Summing up

Cybersecurity awareness is crucial for people of all ages. Yet, students are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to cyber attacks. That’s why it is important to know the most common online threats and how to avoid falling victim to them.

We hope that our tips will be useful to students and anyone else looking to protect themselves online. Be mindful of what you share, where you click, and what you download. This way, you can stay protected at all times.

Technology Martin Cid Magazine
Technology Martin Cid Magazine
News about technology and new advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, programming and its applications in entertainment: video games, telephony, computers and others.
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