We collected 8 useful tips for you to help protect you against cybercrime.
- Watch your devices
A campus is nothing more than a shared place with a few hundred students. The communal areas or workspaces are most likely quite populated, so leaving your phone, tablet or laptop unattended means that it can be accessed by others. Think of campus like any other public place, like a coffee shop. If you have a phone or tablet with you, keep it close. Don’t leave it on a desk or out of your sight. At the very least set a password-protected lock screen, and don’t share the pass code with anyone!
- Be creative with your passwords
Don’t use obvious passwords; password theft is a huge issue! Don’t simply use a combination of your birth year/day/month for your phone or tablet pass code. When it comes to online accounts, the best passwords are at least 8 characters long and include a combination of upper/lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Also, it’s a good idea to use different passwords for different sites so if one site is compromised, they won’t all need to be replaced. Consider investing in a password manager; a tool that creates complicated, lengthy passwords for your online accounts, without you having to remember them.
- Do the Two-Step
Additionally to a creative password is the two-step verification. Quite a few websites (where you store personal info) offer a two-step authentication process, meaning something in addition to a password. PayPal for instance offers as the second step a SMS verification to improve your security.
- Don’t Go Phishing
There are a lot of bad people out there. They frequently come up with new ideas to try to steal your hard earned money or compromise your data. NEVER share sensitive information such as your social security number in an email or phone call. Reputable companies like banks won’t ask for information that way. When in doubt, call the bank or credit card company, just don’t use the number referenced in the suspicious email or phone call. Find it yourself on the official websites. You should also always consider reporting such a email immediately to gmail (student email). To do so, open the email, click next to the Reply , the Down arrow . Click Report Phishing.
- Think before you do
Increase your understanding of cyber threats through awareness. Think before you click on a link, open an email you’re not sure about, or access bank or credit card accounts through an unsecured public WiFi network (like at a coffee shop). Check if all security measures are in place. Use an Anti-Virus program for instance. Check if the website start with https – that “s” means it’s secure. Think about the consequences that” can be avoided through a little bit of safety effort.
- Create Back Ups
Important documents mean that they are really important because of the growing risk of “ransomware” infections. Ransomware works by letting someone remotely lock your computer and hold it ransom until you pay the hacker. They threaten you by deleting all your private files, shouldn’t you pay. By backing up your important documents and pictures, you can easily ignore this threat and ask someone to reset your PC. Make sure you regularly back-up your stuff; use a thumb drive or external hard drive, and a cloud-based account.
- Sharing is not always caring
When it comes to Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites – think twice before you post. Social Media, blogs, personal web pages are great places for people to discover your personal information – and once you post something, you will never be able to take it back! Think about it this way – share only information you are willingly to put on a billboard on a road.
- Stay Up-to-Date
- Turn on auto updates for all your devices’ operating systems, antivirus software and apps. Having the latest versions is your best defense against viruses, malware and other threats. If you don’t want to auto update, install updates when you’re notified they’re available.
- For mobile devices, remember to sync every week so you get all available updates.
- USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware too. Use your security software to scan them when you plug them in.
- Shut down/restart your computer/laptop at least once a week. This helps make sure software and security updates are properly installed to protect your computer and keep it running smoothly.