As the situation with COVID 19 escalated around the globe, the whole world screeched to a halt as all activities carried with physical proximity stopped. The economy came to an abrupt stop, but what also came to an end was live in-person teaching activities. It followed new reforms and policies devised to resume education as normal. As a result, today private online education has emerged to be a perfect option. Due to this, numerous students have adopted online study techniques to continue to pursue their academic studies.
However, while students have now migrated toward learning digitally online, at the same time, it has led to them having to get used to education through different online mediums. Through their engagement, however, their personal data has the potential to be used for cybercrimes such as digital abusing, explicit content, and many such cases. However, there are certain practices that may be used for a safer digital learning experience, as listed below:
Secure your data through encryption
As a student, there is a big chance of you accessing your academic material either from the comfort of your home or at public cafe WiFi hotspots. The trouble with these locations is that the Internet connection you get is normally not secure, and when you connect through such networks, you are susceptible to cybercriminals or malicious parties who may spy on your data using different hacking tools. In order to counter this, you can consider protecting your data with a VPN. A VPN, otherwise known as a Virtual Private Network creates an encrypted tunnel for your online data and activity, effectively bypassing the public network of your ISP. This allows you to safeguard your student credentials and any other important information you have.
Manage privacy settings on social media
Usually, the most obvious leaks occur through social media accounts. With every post that you share or content that you upload online, you are actually giving away a lot of information about yourself. Associated with your photos or content are your meta-data, pieces of digital content that contains information about you. This allows scammers to create targeted, personalised offers using social engineering attacks to commit fraud or identity theft. It is the most accessible approach used by the common scammers. To stay safe from these, always check your privacy settings and manage who can view posts and make comments.
Beware of the phishing scams
When you are studying and taking an active pursuit of your learning, you will browse the internet for different things. This makes your areas of interest and online activity easily traceable. Such information is usually enough for tricksters to develop click baits for the breach action. Click baits can take any shape or form, but they most commonly appear as emails. By tapping once on the link, you make way for access to your data. To secure yourself and protect your data from those baits, you can install a scam detecting software for the purpose. Other than that, you can also opt for using an alternate disposable email ID for more trivial or leisurely purposes while browsing the net.
Install an anti-virus system
Browsing through the Internet is like going through a jungle, there are many possible traps that could happen. One of which are viruses and Trojans that are associated with infected websites. For this reason, it is important to have a well up-to-date antivirus system. For any device to function correctly, a proper firewall is required that protects the software part well. To enable this security, an anti-virus system may be the perfect solution. By the installation of such software, you create a firewall around your system that safeguards you against unwanted malware, hence protecting the data.
Do not share personal information
Another important practice to remember is to be careful and stay vigilant whenever you are browsing the Internet. While university and academic institution sites are usually secured with HTTPS, there are occasions when you may end up landing upon a fake site. The other issue that can happen is when you land on a suspicious site that promises benefits or too-good-to-be-true offers in exchange for your data. To prevent such mishaps, always check a site for authenticity before giving away any information. Malicious criminals often create fake sites with nearly identical site logos, infrastructure, and names, but by looking a bit more diligently and paying attention to detail, you can usually identify frauds from the actual websites.
While students are still learning and improving their knowledge, since more and more of their engagement is carried out online, cybersecurity practices must not be neglected nor overlooked. Safe digital hygiene practices are needed so that students can have a safe learning experience and not worry about other challenges around their data or private information. Henceforth, besides focusing on their studies, students should also remember to take all the practices we’ve just mentioned in this article and apply them in their own lives.