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What Are The Types of Cyber Security Threats to College Students?

In this article we list the various Types of Cyber Security Threats to College Students

If you are a college student, it is more than likely that your personal devices and gadgets contain important personal information which is confidential. This can include your social security numbers, bank accounts, student information, etc. Loss or theft of this data may be very harmful to students as identity theft may lead to crimes being committed in their name and affecting their studies and credit score. Students face a number of other cyber threats too in this digitalized era, each more harmful than the next. Their young age makes them more vulnerable to cybercrime. In this article, we list the common types of cyber security threats to college students and tell you how to combat them. 

Types of Cyber Security Threats to College Students:

Threats From Campus And Public Wifi 

Campus wifi is an essential feature in most colleges nowadays and is widely used by students. However, they are digitally insecure just like a public wifi network and leave you vulnerable to malware attacks, virus attacks, identity theft and other cyber threats. So how should you deal with this problem? Try the following tips –

  1. Use complicated passwords for your device.
  2. Keep your firewall turned on at all times. 
  3. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date.

Phishing

It is possible that you have heard this term before, as it is often used in cyber circles. Phishing refers to identity theft to steal your credit card login information – i.e your name and password- to then steal all the money in your bank account. Scary, right? This is one of the main threats college students need to be wary of because let us face it, they already are on strict budgets and can’t lose more money! Phishing happens through links that look like your regular bank account login screen- which is why you need to be extra alert about it.

Malware

Malware is a term used to refer to harmful software that makes its way into your computer. Such software contain harmful viruses which can steal your data, modify it, delete it or even wipe off all your storage at once! As a college student, your PC might contain a lot of course materials, research papers and other information that you cannot afford to lose. Make sure you don’t download illegal software or software from unknown sites. which can cause you such loss. Also, you need to be attentive to ads and clicking on unknown links, and keeping your antivirus updated and not interacting with and responding to disguised pop up alerts. This is one of the most common types of cyber security threats to college students. 

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Cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying is a recent phenomenon and term used to depict the use of social media to belittle or misbehave in an emotionally abusive manner towards a victim. Cyberbullying and online harassment can be scary and negatively impact the mental health and overall well-being of students. This is one of the most dangerous types of cyber security threats to college students . Everyone on social media sites is, unfortunately, vulnerable to cyberbullying at some point or the other. Here are some pointers to steer clear of it –

  1. Do not ever post any of your personal information like home address, phone number, location, etc. on a social media site. 
  2. Don’t add or interact with random people on social media.
  3. Make sure your security settings are upto date.  
  4. Don’t store personal information and pictures on your cloud accounts.

ATM Skimming Threat 

If you have ATMs on your college campus you may be vulnerable to hackers who install devices called skimmers in the ATM machine which are card readers that save your card numbers and PIN code along with cameras to record you entering your ATM pin. 

Tips to avoid this threat include the following-

  1. If you find that your card is not easily fitting into the machine, this may be a sign of an internal skimmer. Don’t use such machines.
  2. Cover the ATM keypad with your hand to avoid your PIN being noticed.
  3. If you see anyone standing too close behind you while entering your pin, walk away. They might be attempting to read your PIN for theft purposes.
  4. If you think your account has been compromised, immediately call the bank and block or freeze your ATM card. 

Weak Security Passwords. 

Password security becomes weak over time as people keep reusing old passwords, sharing their passwords with others or writing these passwords in easily accessible places. Bank account hackers use a variety of methods like phishing, brute force, etc. to access your account. While it may not be possible to stop all these methods, keeping a weak security password or having the above mentioned habits may make it very easy for hackers to get access to your bank accounts and other sensitive information about you. Make sure you change your password habits to prevent this from happening. 

We hope you enjoyed this article on Types of Cyber Security Threats to College Students. To know more about related fields, do check out our other blogs.

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In this article we list the various Types of Cyber Security Threats to College Students

What Are The Types of Cyber Security Threats to College Students?

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