Nowadays, there lies a big question mark about the security of our personal data. The data that we store in our computers and laptops is not safe anymore and is vulnerable to a myriad of menaces. Students specially need to protect their valuable information like their coursework, essays and dissertations so as to avoid any third party intrusion. College and university students carry out a majority of their daily tasks for example, writing notes and important pointers and making project reports or PowerPoint presentations with the help of their laptops or PCs.
Because of their frequent usage, these electronic devices are also being used by students for the storage of their highly valuable data. In academic life, computers, internet and other portable mobile devices like USB drives are the primary tools for the implementation of various educational and personal activities.
On the other hand, we all are also aware of the bitter reality that how the internet world is full of cyber criminals and hackers who are on the watch to exploit any available weakness or flaw in network security, which can be witnessed in the recent example of the Heartbleed bug. As many students are not aware about the complications and the consequences pertaining to data theft and loss, they pay minimal time and attention to look into this matter, a matter that is of grave concern and can result in serious implications.
For this purpose, it thus becomes essential for students to take all possible preventive security measures that can safeguard their critical records. The internet can be a two edged weapon, possessing both merits and demerits and it is very important to use it securely. The first step is to protect your personal and financial information. The accounts that you create must be secured effectively. Many account providers are now offering additional security features that are really helpful. Your laptops and USB drives must never be left unattended at any time, as you never know when someone can access your device and delete or amend your data. Also make long and strong passwords and change them frequently, ideally every two weeks.
We all also get those spam and unwanted emails from un-trusted sources. Clicking on the links given in those junk emails should always be avoided. Students also conduct many transactions online for instance, using internet banking, shopping with online retailers or booking vacation trips. Remember; when you are submitting this sensitive information, there are chances that it might get hacked therefore, only trusted websites like the ones with ‘https’ should be used. These are the ones which provide extra security through SSL encryption. Always keep your workstation up to date by installing the most current and reliable security and anti-virus software.
Backing up with cloud storage is also an ideal option for university students, as through this students cannot only store their encrypted files and documents and other personal stuff like photos and videos online, but can also share and sync this very data with their friends and family simultaneously and instantly in a secure environment. Last but not least, students must password protect folders in order to prevent their files from any unauthorized access. In this way, their confidential files and folders will remain inaccessible in case the actual device such as laptop is stolen or lost.