Cybersecurity Tips For Students

Top 5 Cybersecurity Tips For Students to Avoid Malicious Software

If you’re a college student, one of your most important skills will be computer and information technology security. One of the first courses, a new college student takes is Computer Networks and Security. This course prepares the student for the “real world”; a place where computers are networked to each other and where data (such as photos, videos, and documents) are stored on computers that are in different places (at work, in school, or at home). This course prepares students for the ever-changing environment in which information is shared, among many other things. In fact, many new jobs involve working with IT security.

As the number of cases involving identity theft grows, it is essential that we learn how to protect ourselves and our information. Our e-mails, our financial documents, and even our medical records are stored on personal computers and all this information is potentially at risk. We cannot rely solely on the security of our brick and mortar establishments. Therefore, learning about cybersecurity is absolutely vital if we want to protect ourselves from identity theft.

So what are some top 5 cybersecurity tips for students?

First of all, we should always make sure our computers are regularly updated. Most of us use Windows operating systems. If we don’t update this software on a regular basis, we are leaving ourselves wide open to attack. Hackers have developed numerous techniques to infiltrate your computer and steal information from it. By protecting your computer with a reliable security program like Norton or McAfee, you can avoid such risks.

In addition, we should ensure that we download the right kind of software. We can get tons of viruses and spyware from the Internet, and we need to make sure that the programs we download are safe. Top 5 cybersecurity tips for students are also important because we need to stay away from phishing sites. A phishing site can be easily spotted because it won’t tell you anything about itself. In fact, it will pretend to be a genuine e-mail site when in reality, it is a virus.

Another top-five cybersecurity tip for students is not to trust e-banks and other financial institutions.

The Internet has made it possible for people from all over the world to connect with each other. We no longer depend on fax machines to communicate with our friends and family because the Internet has provided us with the ability to share files and information instantly. Most viruses have been designed to specifically attack and compromise computer networks. There are a lot of top 5 cybersecurity tips for students to avoid downloading harmful programs into our computers. Some of the most common downloads include programs that are infectious, key logger programs, and virus creators.

Keep Your Software Up to Date

As we saw from the stats above, ransomware attacks were a major attack vector of 2017 for both businesses and consumers. One of the most important cybersecurity tips to mitigate ransomware is patching outdated software, both operating systems, and applications. This helps remove critical vulnerabilities that hackers use to access your devices. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  • Turn on automatic system updates for your device
  • Make sure your desktop web browser uses automatic security updates
  • Keep your web browser plugins like Flash, Java, etc. updated

Check out our blog on patch management best practices!

Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall

Anti-virus (AV) protection software has been the most prevalent solution to fight malicious attacks. AV software blocks malware and other malicious viruses from entering your device and compromising your data. Use anti-virus software from trusted vendors and only run one AV tool on your device.

Using a firewall is also important when defending your data against malicious attacks. Windows and Mac OS X comes with their respective firewalls, aptly named Windows Firewall and Mac Firewall. Your router should also have a firewall built in to prevent attacks on your network.

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