The amount of time we spend on our smartphones and computers is mind-boggling. For communicating, to have fun, for official work – purposes are many. The dependency has also increased as almost everything we do like paying bills, booking tickets for something, sharing files for academic submissions, bank transactions, etc, is all digital.
Everything we do is in online mode which makes it a fertile ground for scammers and hackers.
They look for every opportunity, or say our vulnerabilities, to get into the systems and take control of it. Students form a large group that is highly prone to cyber threats owing to the lack of awareness.
These 10 cyber security tips for students here are aimed at spreading awareness and saving them from the prying eyes of hackers.
1. Find reliable and trusted academic support
Every student wants to achieve academic excellence. They attend the best schools and colleges and work hard on everything that their teachers assign to them.
Assignments form a big part of their academic journey and tasks like essays, thesis, dissertations, homework, and personal statements are a regular affair. Most of these assignments are to be submitted in a quick time and the quality has to be sublime.
This is where the scam sites make use of the opportunity. Fake websites or the ones that never fulfill the orders are widely present on the internet. It is highly important for the students to be able to spot the difference between a fake and a genuine writing service. When choosing a university assignment writing service, they need to be sure that their privacy and money are safe.
This is not part of any teaching so the cybersecurity tips here should be taken seriously. Every student, whether in school or university, should ensure that their writing orders are placed on safe sites.
When asking for assignment help check the previous reviews online, qualification of writers, and previous orders fulfilled, and ask for samples if provided.
2. Always use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
As mentioned earlier, cybersecurity for students should be part of every education and included in teaching. But awareness from outside like from parents and quality resources online is also important.
One of the key things they should know about In cyber security is the multi-factor authentication (MFA). It stands as a formidable defense mechanism against hackers who want to access your accounts or the entire system.
MFA is a popular way to safeguard because it adds an extra layer of security by requiring an additional form of identification beyond just a password. It could be anything – a code sent to your mobile device or a fingerprint scan, MFA will enhance the difficulty for unauthorized users to gain access to your online accounts.
3. Be alert when using public Wi-Fi networks
Public Wi-Fi might look a good option when you are short on data or need better speed but the convenience of public Wi-Fi comes at a cost. The risk of cyber threats is much larger on public networks.
They are breeding grounds for potential cyberattacks. The cybercriminals try to exploit vulnerabilities to access sensitive information on your device. If you want to use public Wi-Fi, try not to access confidential data. Subscribe to a VPN service to encrypt your internet connection. This will add a much-needed extra layer of security.
4. Keep apps and software up-to-date
Your digital defenses are only as strong as your weakest link. Regularly updating your software, including your operating system, antivirus software, and other applications, is crucial to closing potential security loopholes.
Enabling automatic updates ensures that you are equipped with the latest security patches, protecting your system from emerging threats.
5. Beware of phishing attempts
Phishing remains one of the most common and effective cyber attack methods. Cybercriminals use deceptive emails, text messages, websites, or even give you call/video calls on your messengers like Skype, or WhatsApp to trick students into giving out sensitive information.
To prevent this, remain cautious of unexpected emails and calls, especially those requesting personal details. If you receive calls or messages on your private chat messengers from unknown identities, just avoid them. A keen eye will be your strongest defense against any phishing attempts.
6. Use complex, strong passwords
The basics of cyber security begin with a knack for creating really strong passwords. Gone are the days when ‘123456’ sufficed as a password. Today’s digital world demands complexity.
The accounts you own are many and transactions you do sometimes carry a significant amount. Avoid easily guessable information, such as birthdays or names.
You can also use auto-generated passwords like the suggestions from Google Browser when you create a new account on some website. This will enhance the security of your accounts. Besides, always change your passwords to add an extra layer of protection.
7. Limit social media exposure
Cyber safety for students is important when using social media. The use of social media is huge as we all spend unlimited time on it every day – from TikTok to Instagram, Pinterest to X (Twitter). That’s a lot of fun and it’s difficult to keep away from it.
But the negative side is that social media platforms are not only a means of connection but also a treasure trove of personal information. This is exactly what the cybercriminals really need.
They are experts in exploiting this information. Be aware of the information you share. Take time to adjust privacy settings to restrict access.
8. Educate yourself on cybersecurity
Knowledge holds the key to the fight against cyber threats. As a cyber security student, stay informed about the latest cybersecurity trends.
A number of online resources, part-time/short courses, and online communities provide valuable insights into cybersecurity. There are many blogs that are specific to cybersecurity. Reading those will keep you updated on every new trend in the field.
9. Monitor your accounts regularly
Vigilance is a key factor in cyber security for students. Regularly review your bank statements, credit reports, and social media accounts for any suspicious activity.
Early detection of unauthorized access will give you the scope for prompt action and will help in minimizing potential damage. Set a routine for monitoring your accounts.
This does not need much time of yours. Creating a proactive defense against cyber threats rests on how well you manage your online accounts.
10. Secure all your devices
Out internet usage is not limited to one single device. In fact, there are many. Your devices serve as the gateways to your digital world. This is why securing them is of great importance.
Set strong passwords or utilize biometric authentication methods to prevent unauthorized access. In the unfortunate event of theft or loss, these security measures act as the first line of defense against potential compromise. You should regularly back up your data to mitigate the impact of such cyber attacks.
With so much stored on your devices, personal information to documents, and money to academic assignments, you should not live on the edge. Small-looking cybersecurity tips are actually the lifelines that ensure optimum online security for you on your devices.
Turn yourself into cybersecurity students who knows the basics of being safe on the internet and is able to ward off small-time risks like a walk in the park.
For bigger threats like public Wi-Fi or when you are working on side hustles, use trusted apps and software and subscribe to VPNs. These small things combined will create a solid wall of defense to keep the hackers and scammers away from your smartphones and computers.