Whether shopping online or doing research for a school assignment, the internet is a tool that all students use. While the Internet has created a phenomenal way for us to get a vast amount of information quickly, it has also brought with it several risks that students must educate themselves about. Use the following tips to safely exchange information and protect your identity and finances online.
When Using a Public Computer
- Never save your passwords on websites.
- Delete temporary files that you may have saved or downloaded.
- Never leave a computer that you are logged into unattended.
- Remember to always logout before leaving.
- Remember that email is not a secure form of online communication. Never email sensitive information such as Social Security or bank account information.
- Never open email attachments that are received unexpectedly or that are from senders you do not know.
- Read emails in plain text when possible to utilize the security benefits.
Protecting Your Identity Online
- Always be alert and aware when in public places. Thieves can easily look over your shoulder as you enter private, sensitive information on the computer.
- College is a great time to learn how to take control of your finances and identity. Consider enrolling in an identity theft service that can identify and fix any fraud issues.
- Be on the lookout for phishing websites that ask for extremely personal information such as your credit card information, Social Security number or account numbers.
- Use strong passwords that are difficult for others to guess and that can’t be easily linked to you. Try to avoid passwords that include your birthday, date of graduation, anniversary or numbers or letters in their numerical or alphabetical order (1234, abcd).
- Create a different password for every site you need a password for.
- Never share your passwords.
- Invest in quality anti-virus and anti-malware software to protect against corrupt programs that attempt to hack into your system.
General Online Safety
- Get into the habit of frequently checking your bank statements to ensure every transaction is accounted for.
- Try to make all online purchases at home so that you are doing it from a secure network.
- Only shop online on secure sites. Secure sites have a lock in the bottom corner and have a URL that begins with “https://”.
- Utilize privacy and security settings on social networks.
- Follow these social media safety tips.
Whether online or out in the real world, you must always be responsible for yourself by staying alert and taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.
These safety tips are provided by Protection 1®,one of the largest and most respected national security companies in the U.S. Protection 1® is a leading school security systems provider, ensuring that students feel safe on campus. Visit Protection 1® today for more expert knowledge on best practices for keeping your dorm or apartment safe and for more tips on how to stay safe on campus.