It’s hard to imagine what college would have been like if I had today’s technology in my arsenal. With spell check, search engines and online resources, meeting deadlines for my assignments would have been a breeze. Late nights in the library would have been condensed to a few quick clicks on the web, but at what cost? While I can appreciate the conveniences technology provides collegiate students, I can’t help but wonder about their online security habits.
Unsurprisingly, today’s college students rely heavily on their mobile devices, laptops, and tablets to navigate through the school year. But, even though students have increased their device usage (most likely due to social media and school-related research), our recent Back To School study shows there is an apparent disconnect with secure online habits.
So, why is this disconnect happening exactly? With classes and social activities, it can be challenging for students to find time to prioritize cybersecurity. However, hackers find time for students, as they aim to spread phishing scams and mobile malware.
In addition to keeping cybercriminals at bay, practicing safe online habits in college can benefit students in the long term. Want to post a crazy photo from a football tailgate? While funny at the time, it’s important to remember that the content you share reflects who you are and can follow you as you enter into the post grad world. Future employers may perceive your shared content in a way that can hinder potential career opportunities.
The good news? If you stay aware and educated on security and digital composure, cybercriminals will have no way to dampen your college experience. Here are our tips on how students can stay secure during the school year:
- Stay Updated: Keep device software and applications secure by regularly utilizing the latest updates.
- Passwords Please: Did you get that laptop or smartphone as a ‘back to school’ present? All smart devices come with default passwords, and it’s important to change those as soon as possible. The more complicated your password, the better!
- Locked and Loaded: Install a comprehensive solution like McAfee LiveSafe that protects all your devices from different types of malware, provides virus protection and backs up all your important documents on the cloud.
College should be a fun experience for everyone. If you stay cybersecurity savvy, it reduces the chance of hackers spoiling your fun and ruining your reputation. Prioritize online security and reap the benefits!