Ten Security Tips for Students

  1. Be alert | Use common sense and think twice before clicking links, opening attachments or responding to emails. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Throw it out if in doubt | Be wary of emails that require "immediate action" or ask for personal information. Delete any messages that look suspicious.
  3. Protect your passwords | Create different passwords for different sites and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols to make them hard to guess. And never share your passwords with anyone, including close friends.
  4. Keep apps and software up-to-date | Set up automatic updates for your computer and mobile devices and regularly restart them to give them a chance to complete the update process.
  5. Limit activities on public Wi-Fi | Never use public Wi-Fi to access or enter sensitive information, such as online banking, and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to lock down your connection.
  6. Avoid oversharing on social media | Sharing too much information, such as indicating when you're on vacation or away from home, can make you an easy target for #burglary. Also, adjust privacy settings on your accounts and only friend people you know.
  7. Be a savvy online shopper | Always use a secure or private Wi-Fi network to shop online. Look for the lock symbol next to the web address before entering payment information and use a credit card or secure payment site like PayPal—not a debit card—to complete transactions.
  8. Use two-factor authentication | If a site or app offers you the ability to set up two-factor authentication when signing in, do it. This extra layer of security will require you to verify your identity twice before you can access sensitive information.
  9. Back up files and data on a regular basis | Set up automatic backups of your device and store the backup to a cloud service or external hard drive.
  10. Be a good online citizen | What you do online has the potential to affect everyone—at home, at school and around the world—so always be courteous and practice good online etiquette.
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