How to Keep Your Devices and Information Safe: A Student’s Guide

Picture this: you’re in the midst of a thrilling online gaming session or scrolling through the latest memes on social media when suddenly, your digital world comes crashing down! Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but we’ve all been there – facing the dread of a hacked account or the panic of accidentally sharing more than you intended on social media. In today’s tech-savvy world, it’s not just about acing your exams; it’s also about acing your online security game. That’s why you need to start paying more attention to the security of your devices to ensure your information is kept safe and private. 

woman using VPN

Consider Using A VPN

VPNs are like a cloak of invisibility for your online presence, offering several key benefits. First and foremost, they enhance your privacy by encrypting your internet connection, and shielding your data from prying eyes, whether it’s your Internet Service Provider (ISP), government agencies, or cybercriminals. This encryption also ensures that your online activities remain confidential, crucial for safeguarding sensitive information. 

If you’re a student studying abroad then VPNs can allow you to bypass geographic restrictions, granting access to region-locked content and services that might be useful for your studies. The good news for you is that there are several discounts for students at IPVanish so that you don’t have to eat into your student budget unnecessarily. VPNs provide an extra layer of security, reducing the risk of cyberattacks on unsecured connections, such as public Wi-Fi networks, which you inevitably will have to use at one point or another. 

Enable Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of protection to your online accounts by requiring not just a password but also a second piece of information for verification. Basically, it’s a way of double-checking that you are actually you. So if your password has been in a data breach, the second factor of the login still won’t be available to the hacker. For example, it could be a security question that you’d previously set up, a text on your personal smartphone, or a fingerprint. By using 2FA, even if someone manages to obtain your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the second factor. Why wouldn’t you want to significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access, identity theft, and data breaches by setting it up?

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Your Passwords

Strong passwords are typically long, unique, and complex, making them difficult for others to guess or crack. Whilst passwords may seem less important than they used to be, they still serve an important role as the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your information. It’s essential to use different passwords for each of your accounts to prevent a breach on one platform from compromising your security on others. While it may be challenging to remember multiple strong passwords, using a reputable password manager can simplify this task by securely storing and auto-filling your credentials.

Manage Your Social Media

Managing your social media and its settings is a continuous and important process. As apps and websites update, so can your privacy settings, so it’s important to check and update them regularly. Make sure to tailor your settings to your preferences so that you can properly balance sharing your updates with your friends and protecting your information from those who may have malicious intentions.

Whilst it can be easy to get carried away with sharing all of your experiences with your loved ones, oversharing essentially means you’re spilling the beans on your life’s intimate details. This can potentially open the door to privacy breaches, identity theft, or even offline consequences. So let this be your friendly reminder that exercising caution, especially when it comes to personal data like addresses, phone numbers, or financial info, is key. What you post online can have long-lasting effects, so second-guessing what you’re posting can actually be a good thing in this case. 


Report Security Incidents

When you come across any suspicious or potentially harmful activity online, it’s imperative to promptly report it to the appropriate authorities or organizations. Many websites and institutions have designated channels or procedures for reporting security issues, and it’s vital to familiarize yourself with these processes. These reports can contribute to a safer online world for everyone, including yourself, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to take the time to report what happened. 

Ultimately, by taking the proactive steps outlined in this guide, you can harness the full potential of technology while minimizing the associated risks. Don’t forget to use strong passwords, use a VPN, use 2FA, manage your social media settings, and report any security incidents to keep your devices and information extra safe. It could save you a lot of stress and money.

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