The school year is slowly reaching its end, but it seems like studying from home is here to stay, at least for now. Schools and universities have switched to remote learning at the beginning of the pandemic without missing a beat.
However, remote learning could pose a cybersecurity threat for students. After all, they are spending a lot of time online, and cybercriminals are well aware of their new potential targets. Here are some tips that will keep you safe online while studying from home.
Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are an absolute must. Therefore, you need to come up with complex and unique login information that is impossible to guess. Stay away from obvious passwords, such as your name, surname, or date of birth. Indeed, you might have a hard time remembering a long and complicated password, but there are so many tools out there that could help you.
Password managers are absolute lifesavers when it comes to memorising login information. Download the add-on, and it will do all the work for you. So how can you come up with strong passwords? They should be at least ten characters long. Don’t forget to add numbers, upper and lower case, as well as symbols to create strong passwords for your safe online protection.
Don’t Fall For Phishing
Phishing is one of the most common cyber threats at the moment. Remember not to click on any links or open attachments sent to you by someone unknown. The same goes for emails from businesses or companies. Phishing attempts often look official, but tiny details are usually a giveaway. Take a closer look at the email handle, grammar, or contact the business directly.
Don’t type in your login information on websites that look sketchy. So if you get a link that requires your username and password, think twice before entering the data. Phishing could be challenging to spot if you don’t know where to look. This cyber threat can compromise your personal information, as well as your school’s or university’s database.
Use Encryption Tools
Encryption takes your cybersecurity to a whole new level. Services like VPN can fully encrypt the incoming and outgoing traffic. The encrypted information is safe from hackers and third parties that might want to use it. But a VPN can help out in other ways too.
For instance, most of us watch movies or TV shows while on a break from studying. Streaming services could pose a threat as well. If you use gadgets like Amazon’s Fire Stick for entertainment, remember to secure it (https://nordvpn.com/download/firestick/). A VPN for Fire Stick can help out with that because it will encrypt the data and warn you about potentially dangerous websites.
Keep Everything Up To Date
It doesn’t matter if you are using a new or old computer for studying – you need to make sure your operating system and apps are up to date. These are constantly updated to fix bugs or improve general security. Regular updates will prevent the majority of possible cyber attacks. After all, hackers often use unpatched apps and operating systems to their advantage.
Most machines have automatic updates, but it is better to double-check this. If your operating system notifies you about a patch or a new version, install it right away. It could be inconvenient to restart a computer, but don’t ignore this. If you occasionally attend classes on your phone, always sync up the data there as well.
Use a Backup
Unexpected things happen all the time, so it is essential to have a backup. It is the best way to ensure your data and schoolwork are accessible to you at all times. Your computer might break down, and a deadline could be coming up. You won’t stress about it if you have your homework uploaded to a cloud service.
Of course, backups can help out in case of ransomware. Cybercriminals might lock you out of your documents, and you won’t have access to them before making a payment. You can avoid this whole situation by creating a physical backup or using a cloud account.