5 Basic Rules of Information Security All Students Should Know
In the digital era of information security, your personal data is now at the most considerable risk than ever before and essential to protect. More importantly, it’s no secret that college students use a variety of gadgets, web resources, apps, and other tools that can store their data. Naturally, this increases the risk of lost or stolen data. That’s why information security is crucial for every student.
First and foremost, information security is all about protecting your data from becoming leaked, destroyed, and otherwise manipulated. Also, it’s about ensuring the confidentiality and availability of data.
Below, you’ll discover the basic rules that will help you protect your information better in college and beyond!
Don’t Use Untrusted Websites
Modern students rely on technology and the Internet a lot, and in this age of information security, we all should. They conduct research, complete assignments, use “do my paper” services to delegate their assignments, and do plenty of other things online. Needless to say, the more different tools and online resources you use, the more data is potentially at risk. Thus, the very first important security rule is not to use untrusted and suspicious sites.
When you visit a potentially dangerous website, most modern devices (including smartphones and laptops) will notify you about this and ask if you still want to visit them. Apart from this, you can quickly tell if a particular page is safe by simply looking at the address bar. To the left of the site’s address, there is a security status symbol. Most often, there are three symbols to keep in mind:
- A lock symbol means that the connection is safe;
- A circle symbol with an “i” inside means that a page doesn’t have a security certificate and that the info you send through it could be seen or adjusted by a third party.
- A triangle symbol with an exclamation sign inside means that the connection is not secure or even dangerous.
When browsing the web, make it a #1 rule always to double-check the safety of the connection and try to avoid untrusted sites. Or, at least, don’t share any data if you still access such pages.
Use Strong Passwords – An Information Security Essential
Password guessing is now a prevalent practice for gaining remote access to computer systems and users’ data. Hackers use special generation programs and even guess users’ passwords on their own by common combinations. If your password is weak, there is a considerable likelihood that machines or people can decipher them. So the second essential rule is always to set strong passwords.
What does this mean in practice? Hackers can use many tactics to create strong passwords. Here are some of the best practices:
- Don’t include personal info like your name, birthday, email address, and so on.
- Opt for longer passwords that are over 12 characters long.
- Do never use a single password for multiple accounts.
- Add upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special symbols.
Using these simple tips, you can set strong passwords that will be hard for hackers to guess. As a result, you will ensure better protection for your accounts and data when it comes to information security.
Also, remember that the passwords on your gadgets are no less important. Thus, be sure to protect your phone, laptop, and other devices with strong passwords too.
Update Passwords Regularly
Of course, you can add this to the previous point, but it deserves a separate mention. After you set strong passwords for your accounts, it can feel like you are 100% protected now. However, the truth is that the longer you use the same password, the more likely it is that some can guess them.
Due to this reason, we suggest you make it a rule to change your passwords regularly (ideally, every month) to add another layer of safety. Regarding information security, changing your password is an essential part of privacy.
Everyone Needs A Good Anti-Virus
If you want to prevent theft and damage of the data you store on your devices, you must ensure that you protect your gadgets from all viruses, malware, and other hazards. There is no secret that hackers can easily infect your gadgets with malicious software through different websites, apps, games, and downloads. If this happens, this can lead to several negative consequences, including damage to your device and unauthorized access to everything you have on it.
The only effective way to avoid this is to protect your gadgets with solid and up-to-date anti-virus software. Please research to learn what options are available, compare them, and install software that works best for you. Furthermore, this can help you avoid many problems.
Use a VPN – An Information Security Must Have
Virtual Private Network, or simply a VPN, is one of the most indispensable tools for modern students. We all know that researching the Internet can be a holy grail for college students. It’s much more convenient and easier to conduct research on the web than in a library.
But we have to admit that the Internet is not a safe place. There are a lot of threats hidden online that can affect your privacy and confidentiality. So the last rule we’d like to share with you is always to have a VPN to protect yourself.
In a nutshell, a VPN conceals and encrypts all your traffic. As a result, it makes it impossible for websites and hackers to see your IP address, location, browsing history, and digital activities. As a result, it makes it nearly impossible to steal or access your info. So if you want to ensure ultimate confidentiality, don’t forget to use a VPN when browsing the Internet, especially when using public networks.
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