Cybersecurity will always be a problem. Technology is for everyone, and anyone who can access these resources can use them in any way they want to– and that includes hackers and people with malicious intent. Although software companies are doing their best to keep their IP and platforms secured, hackers and internet attackers will always find new ways to penetrate cybersecurity using the same sophisticated tech. The sad reality is; no one on the internet is truly safe from malicious attacks– even students.
Importance of Cybersecurity
Nowadays, almost every aspect of life relies on technology, but it is not always bad, especially if it makes jobs more manageable. However, technology can always be a threat to privacy, mostly on cloud-based platforms where people input personal data and other sensitive information, including social media platforms.
Students rely on computers every day, which leaves them exposed to newer threats every day. The same goes for educational institutions with student information and research data stored in the cloud. Because they can access the data wirelessly, it will always be an easy target for such internet attacks.
There is no denying that pulling up information is a lot easier than it used to be 10 years ago. Still, such things come with adverse effects– especially if schools and students don’t take cybersecurity seriously. Any hacker with the proper knowledge and equipment can easily pull up student information, assume their identity, or worse– erase their records. Although there may not be an ulterior motive for the attack, it is always best to be one step ahead by improving cybersecurity measures.
So what are the cybercrime attacks affecting students? A team of web developers along with academic writing experts from Advanced Writers shared its experience.
Cybercrime Attacks that Affect Students
● Identity theft
Identity theft is one of the most typical forms of cyberattacks on students and any other individual. If an identity is stolen, getting your identity reinstated can be very complicated. Identity theft can also lead to a tainted reputation depending on the malice unleashed by the attacker.
This form of attack comes in the form of spyware and viruses. Downloads or emails from suspicious sites give the attackers control of your computer and easy access to information.
Phishing is the use of text messages or emails to gain access to private information. It is one of the most common attacks launched against students.
● Denial of service attacks
This process is when hackers flood a computer network with many requests exhausting the bandwidth. These attacks are meant to be a nuisance more than anything else.
● Password attack
Just as it sounds, this is when hackers try to crack poorly chosen passwords and gain entry to otherwise private information.
There are many ways cyberattacks can be launched towards a student. Fortunately, there are also many ways to stop it by improving protection from any form of attack.
How Students Can Improve Cybersecurity Measures
1. Choose a Strong Password
A good password should have anywhere between eight and twelve characters. The characters should have at least one uppercase letter, one lower case letter, a number, and a unique character. It is not a good idea to use your birthday, name, parent’s name, or even your anniversary. Most platforms these days suggest strong passwords to use, which are filled with random letters– even you can’t memorize.
2. Always Use a Double Authentication
Some platforms, such as email services and social media, have double-authentication as an extra layer of security to avoid getting hacked. It allows you to use a separate email or phone number, so you can get notified if someone is trying to log into your account on a different device.
3. Use a secure Wi-Fi
It is easy to get computer access through an insecure Wi-Fi network. Always use WPA2 access networks for your security.
4. Install Antivirus Software
Many ISPs provide half-decent antivirus programs, but hackers are constantly evolving with new malware. You should always choose trustworthy antivirus programs that continuously release security updates. Some might come with a hefty price tag, but they will provide you with protection and save you money in the long run. Alternatively, there are cheap antivirus programs that seem to do the task pretty well.
5. Avoid suspicious emails
If you don’t recognize an email address as a text message sender, don’t click on any suspicious links on it. Most of these are phishing gambits. The best thing to do is ignore or delete these suspicious emails as soon as possible.
6. Use encryption and firewalls
Firewalls regulate inbound and outbound traffic, and they help block off shady websites. They also provide end-to-end encryption to protect personal messages, private information, and of course, financial information. These are most useful if you use online banking apps and other payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo, etc.
7. Configure your apps’ privacy settings
Some apps ask permission to access your location, microphone, Bluetooth, and camera on your smartphone or computer. Make sure that you do not always share this information unless you need to. For example, if you are using a navigation app, make sure that you only turn on location access when using the app.
8. Keep your devices safe
The most accessible way hackers can access your network is by getting their hands on your devices, such as your computer and smartphone, and logging in. Although they are password-protected, some hackers use sophisticated technology to get in. If you are using the cloud to store information and access your devices, make sure you set up a way to wipe the device when it gets stolen, use a strong password, and keep them secured so you won’t lose them in the first place.
Teaching Cybersecurity to students
Cybercrime is very common in the age of the internet, and it is only necessary to teach Cybersecurity to students. Kids born in the digital age should know that it is essential to keep their online information safe. It is like teaching them the modern-day “stranger danger.”
Teaching them about Cybersecurity is not just to protect them, but it is a way to set them up for a safer future.
As one of the generations who experienced the transition to the digital age, it is essential to share real-life examples of issues gone wrong. Students should be made aware of the repercussions that can significantly affect their reputation in the future.
Be careful with what you post
Once something goes up on the internet, there is a possibility for it to stay there forever. A shining resume can quickly be rejected by a simple Google search that shows reckless posts from a cyberattack five years ago. Even deleting it is not as safe as it sounds and once someone took a screenshot of a photo, you can never truly wipe it off the surface.
There are many career opportunities for students in this field to learn cybersecurity for personal use or for managing security protocols for networks. The concepts and technologies teach the principles behind security and architecture. Plus, they also teach risk mitigation and incident management if an attack occurs.
Cyberattackers continue to exploit new vulnerabilities, and students need to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge to protect their devices and information.
Advancements in the digital world have made online education accessible to learners giving learners a high-quality experience. This advantage, however, comes at an expended risk towards cyber-attacks. Following the cybersecurity tips outlined in this article, keep you safe and protect you from hackers rather than sorry for securing your sensitive information.