How to Practice Better Cybersecurity in College

College can be a super exciting time of life. You’re young, full of life and energy, and ready to take on the world. Or are you? Sometimes the lack of life experience most college students have can lead to making some pretty big mistakes, especially when it comes to matters of cybersecurity. Given education’s heavy leaning toward reliance on devices like laptops and smartphones, it’s important to be as secure as possible!

Don’t Leave Open Computers Unattended

It’s tempting to leave your computer or laptop open for just a minute to go grab a drink of water or take a quick bathroom break during a study session. It’s just for a minute, so it should be fine, right? Not exactly, no. Leaving an open computer unattended means that anyone passing by could use it to access all sorts of information, including your passwords. Once they have them, there’s nothing stopping them from accessing your accounts at their leisure. Worse, they could steal your device, and then you’ll have a lot of things to do to protect yourself on top of buying a new one. Either way, you’re compromised. Don’t just walk away and leave it unattended.

Keep Strong, Unique Passwords

You use passwords to log into stuff all the time. It’s tempting to use something that’s easy to remember, but if you use something that’s common or obvious (12345, password, password1, qwerty, 123456789, and other iterations of the same), you’re setting yourself up to have compromised accounts. College students are an easy target for financial scams and identity theft. Avoid this by making sure you use strong, unique passwords, especially for financial accounts.

Don’t Forget to Secure Your Phone

With how much we use our phones these days for just about everything, it would be foolish to not take steps to keep your phone secure. Use a pin, password, or pattern to secure your phone and think twice before using biometrics. Don’t download apps if you don’t trust both the app and the platform you get it from. Log out from sites if you make a payment from your phone. Don’t forget to turn your wireless and bluetooth connections off if you aren’t using them too. Unscrupulous individuals can use them to connect to your phone as well.

Being smart about cybersecurity doesn’t mean you have to get a degree in it. You can keep yourself and your tech safer with a few relatively simple measures that mostly require a little extra thought and preparation from you. From there, just remember to keep your security up to date for the best protection.

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