These days, students spend a huge part of their time on the web. They use it to study, communicate and entertain. But, not everyone recognizes the real scope of hazards that are waiting for students out there. Sometimes, these hazards can turn into real issues, unless you know how to secure yourself from them.
If you are concerned about your security on the Internet, read on to find the top eight tips that will keep you safe at all times.
1. Purchase Goods and Services From Secure Sites
Students often have intense schedules. Nearly 100% of their time is busy with lectures and homework. Sometimes, they don’t even have time for rest. So, clearly, students rarely get a chance to shop offline and, thus, tend to purchase the goods and services they need online, which can create potentially dangerous situations.
Here comes the first online safety tip – watch out where you buy things online. Whether you want to order an essay to boost your grades or need to shop for some new clothing or tech, make sure that you do this from trusted and secure sites. Carefully check the reputation of the site first. Also, keep an eye on the address bar. Secure sites’ addresses start with https://. And be sure to check the site’s terms and policies too!
2. Pick Trusted Sites to Download From
When studying in college or university, students use their laptops or PCs, as well as other gadgets, quite a lot. Chances are that you have plenty of important data on your gadgets that you don’t want to get stolen or lost forever. This brings us to the second tip – always be incredibly careful with your downloads.
Whether you are a Windows or Mac user, downloading a hazardous file can cause irreparable damage to your system and files. Some downloads out there might include malware and it can be hidden in pretty much any app, file, or program. So, be very careful with downloads that come from sites you don’t trust or that look suspicious to you.
3. Watch Out Who You Meet Online
College is a perfect time for making new friends and modern students do this both online and offline. And while it is surely important to be careful with who you meet offline, it is even more important to watch out who you meet online.
In different social media and on the web, in general, there are many hackers, frauds, and other untrustworthy users who might want to harm you by stealing your data or in any other way. Thus, if you want to stay safe online, be sure to stay very cautious about who you connect with virtually.
4. Turn on Your Privacy Settings
There are many people out there who’d love to know everything about you. This includes marketers and, of course, hackers and scammers too. They all can harvest lots of info about you from social media and the web. But you are still the one in charge of your privacy. To keep your privacy, you should always keep the relevant settings on when using various websites and apps. They might be hard to find but enabling them can make a real difference to your online experience.
5. Limit the Scope of Personal Information You Post
With so many social networks out there, keeping some things to yourself becomes rather hard. The types of personal data that should remain private, include your location, phone number, family details, passwords, and all sorts of personally identifiable information. All this data should never be shared on the web.
Many young people don’t follow this rule. After all, what can happen if you post a few Facebook or Instagram stories with your location tagged? Although it might not seem like a big deal, even such seemingly harmless actions can lead to many negative consequences, so keep this tip in mind.
6. Create Strong Passwords
This should sound like a no-brainer, but the passwords you choose for your social media profiles and other web services should be very strong and unique in order to keep your data protected. Many users make the same mistake by choosing too simple passwords or using the same password for numerous resources. Such passwords are quite easy to guess for cybercriminals. However, if you create strong and complex passwords, your accounts and data will be safe.
Pro tip: If you are using the same or super simple passwords just because you are afraid to forget them and lose access to your online profiles, you can solve this problem by getting yourself a solid password manager software. This way, you will store all your passwords securely in one place.
7. Use a VPN
The majority of people only use VPN to access the sites that are blocked in their schools or countries. That’s one of the possible uses. But there is something much more important about VPNs that you should know about – using them when browsing the web from public WiFi spots can protect your devices and personal data. Therefore, every student should have a solid VPN downloaded to their laptops and other gadgets.
8. Leverage a Powerful Antivirus
Finally, the last safety tip should also sound pretty obvious, but it deserves to be stressed out separately. Good antivirus software is a good way to keep hackers’ and fraudsters’ hands off your gadgets and, respectively, keep you safe. Thus, be sure to get yourself a trusted and powerful antivirus for all your devices. And also, be sure to always keep your antivirus up to date to ensure that it works as supposed.
The Bottom Line
Just like there are plenty of hazards on the Internet, there are also plenty of ways to keep you secure. The tips we shared with you in this article are the most basic and vital ones to make your online experiences pleasant and hazard-free.
Thus, if security is one of your top priorities, start using these tricks right now to stay 100% safe.