How Students Can Improve Their Online Security

As a student, you are currently in the process of building a future for yourself. These are exciting, vital times in your life as a person and as a professional. However, if you wish to ensure that your success looms large, you need to do all that you can to stay safe.

This means making smart choices both online and offline. Think about not only who you interact with offline, but where you interact online. For all it takes is one ill-advised social media post, or one misunderstood phishing scam gone right, to leave you in a world of stress and worry. What can you do, then, to help stay protected as a student?

Always do your reading

Before you install any piece of software, make sure that you closely investigate the software to find out how it works. For example, don’t install over-marketed and suspicious web software that you have not thoroughly reviewed.

Read more than one review, too: sadly, the web is full of reviews which are essentially paid advertisements for a product. Instead, review the product independently and use more than one source to find out if what you are using is safe.

Privatize your social media

The last thing you need is a promising academic year to be ruined by a foolish social media post made in a state of inebriation. Try and avoid using social media if you can, but you should at the very least make sure you make all accounts private.

Unless it is for an academic purpose, avoid using social media in a public setting. It only takes one person to use your content out of context to leave you with a lot of explaining to do. Avoid the risk and make yourself more secure online by upping your privacy.

Never share key content in chat

Many students are care-free and blasé when it comes to helping out those they care about. While sharing your PayPal details to a friend via a Messenger app might seem safe, avoid it. All it takes is someone else to use their phone and scope their conversation, or a hacker to get access to those chat logs.

Avoid sending any passwords or otherwise sensitive details across any kind of chat medium or any kind of unsecure method. If possible, only share these essential details in person via an easily destroyed medium – or better yet, don’t share them at all!

Have a ‘burner’ e-mail

An easy way to find yourself victimized or harassed online is to make ill use of your e-mail address. Don’t use the same e-mail address for every ad sign-up, every membership program, and every piece of random product that you buy on the internet.

Instead, try and have an e-mail address that is not connected to any personal or academic purposes. As a student, you can make use of vouchers and discounts without having to give away your privacy; make a burner account, and you reduce the risk of your personal details being leaked and/or used illicitly.

Keep these ideas in mind, and student life can be sophisticated, satisfying, and safe!

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