With the technologies taking over our lives, we face numerous more issues and challenges that humankind needs to figure out in the nearest future. Most schools were very fast to accept modern technologies inside their walls. Barely any studying program can exist without relying on the digital world. Universities have everything from schedules and timetables to syllabus and students’ personal data online.
Although digitizing most bureaucratic college processes made everyone’s lives easier and more organized, it came with the cost. The increased digitization of colleges leads to an increased threat to students’ online safety. Breached security and leaked data can lead to numerous problems for those affected by the situation. Such unfortunate events shed a bad light on colleges that let this happen. Not to mention that the restoration work can take months to complete. Let’s see some of the examples of how hackers can harm college studies and how students can learn from those examples.
The history of cyber crimes when hackers attack universities started almost two decades ago. When colleges were expanding their Internet presence, including dealing with most documentation online, hackers were thinking about how to use these novelties to their advantage.
For the most part, cyber-attacks at college aim at students’ and staff members’ personal data. This includes names, home addresses, birth dates, personal contacts, and more. The acquired personal data is often sold online or used to take illegal loans. Needless to say, such mistakes in college digital security policy can cost a high price for their students, applicants, and staff.
Moreover, some cases in history show that hackers don’t only steal data from college servers. They can also modify the data in the system, which can lead to serious confusion, mistakes, and loss of student’s progress and grades. Once the hackers modify students’ grades in the system, there may not be a way back to bringing everything back. Of course, such an attack can be from extremely unpleasant to severely harmful for everyone affected. After all, students who work hard to earn their grades don’t deserve to lose them over colleges’ inability to prevent the breaching.
While the level of a college’s cybersecurity is outside students’ capacity to control or enhance, there is still a lot a student can do to stay safe online. For one, every student must take responsibility for their own digital safety. Hackers can harm students in more ways than stealing their data. Most often, students may catch malware that can destroy everything they store on their devices. This may include important paperwork for college. Hence, extra safety measures to protect your work and devices should always be welcomed. Here are a few most common and effective safety measures for using the Internet.
Limit your public Internet use
Students seem to love working and studying using public Wi-Fi. They spend a lot of time in public or university libraries, coffee shops, and other areas with free Wi-Fi. However, that can become a major problem to the safety of their devices. Public networks are a perfect place for hackers to feed on. You become extremely vulnerable in this situation.
One way to protect your devices and important personal information is not to open any essential sites and applications. Hence, your email, banking apps, and other similar pages should be off-limit when you are on public Wi-Fi.
Next, you need to consider using VPN apps that will make it so much harder to hack your device on public Wi-Fi. VPN applications basically hide you from the radar, making you invisible to everyone on that network. You may even contact some unemployed professors you know to ask for more information on the VPN role in your online security.
Have security software
Installing security software is just one more way to enhance your safe browsing online. This type of software should control and manage access on your devices. It should keep you informed about any attempted intrusions and cancel them altogether. It should also prevent any viruses from affecting your devices. Some software and ad blockers online will also inform you when a site you are using is not secure enough. These suggestions can keep you from using your credit cards or sharing personal data on unreliable sites.
Last but not least, don’t forget to make backups once in a while. Use a cloud or portable disk to store all the important files, including your unsent papers, photos, and documents. You won’t believe how many students had to turn to essay pro writers for help after they got unlucky with losing all their study materials and work due to a hackers’ attack. So go ahead, and check whether all your unfinished essays and papers are on the cloud already.