The Importance of Cyber Security for Students
Personal computers are essential equipment for the modern student. For scholars faced homework assignments that must be completed online and the need to take notes quickly, computers provide both convenience and a portable workspace.
The Value of Cyber Security Training
Cyber security is about protecting personal information. Along with their schoolwork, students often use their computers for a variety of other tasks that may involve storing personal information on the device. That information can include names and addresses along with credit card and social security numbers, all of which can be of value to criminals. Cybercriminals have a number of ways to violate privacy and gain access to this data. Being aware of the dangers to privacy and knowing how to protect personal information is essential for all internet users, including students.
The dangers to personal information include:
Malware and Viruses
Students are particularly vulnerable if they are in the habit of downloading pirated software, but the potential for infection exists even if they get their software legally. In some cases, just visiting a particular website can result in the computer being infected and compromised. The key for students is to have antivirus software installed on their computers. There are many free and effective antivirus programs available for download.
Phishing and Social Engineering
Phishing is the practice of posing as a legitimate entity in order to gain access to private information including passwords and financial data. A cybercriminal may pose as a representative of a bank or other recognizable institution; cybercriminals also often attempt to get their victims to install malware. Students should not trust emails and other messages just because they appear to come from a legitimate source.
Anti-phishing training, such as that provided by Global Learning Systems, can help students learn more about what to do when faced with phishing emails and phone calls. This training can make them aware of the different types of phishing and of the ways to avoid them. Employers around the world use this sort of training in order to protect their companies from digital threats.
Physical Theft of the Computer
This is a common problem on college campuses. Aside from being careful about where they leave their computer, steps a student can take include using anti-theft features like Kensington locks. Kensington locks secure the computer with a combination or keyed lock that has a metal cable attached. Software may also be installed on the computer that will allow the owner to track it down in the event that it gets stolen.
In many cases, students can keep their information secure by exercising basic common sense. They should make sure to keep all of their software up to date, including their operating system; they should also know which emailed links are likely to be safe and which are not. Understanding these things will help them in their academic life and well as in a technology-driven workplace.