With technology and the rise of the internet, students are more connected to the digital world. This digital connection is a concern as many are unaware of the risks involved in the internet and don’t know how they can keep their computers secure.

A computer is essential in a student’s life as they have to complete assignments and attend classes. However, precautions when using the internet are necessary. Here’s how to secure your college computer.

Install and Update Antivirus and Anti-Malware

Install and Update Antivirus and Anti-Malware

An antivirus safeguards your PC from dangerous software by identifying them, eradicating them or barring them from functioning. On the other hand, anti-malware targets other forms of malicious programs, including worms, spyware and Trojans. It is crucial to install these protectors because they guard your device against programs that can harm it, delete files, or make it run slowly. 

Imagine your PC getting attacked by a virus that destroys your research paper, which you’ve been working on for weeks, and you were about to turn it in. It could be frustrating as you might not have the time to redo it. It might leave you wondering, “Who can I hire to write my paper?” Updating your antivirus and anti-malware is also important as it ensures they can detect new threats and prevent them from attacking your computer. 

Use Robust Passwords

Robust passwords are very important in the security of a PC since they cannot be breached easily. They make it harder for a hacker to crack your login. When creating a password for an online account, use a combination of alphanumeric characters and special characters to make the passkey as complex as possible.

Do not use a single passkey for all your accounts. Why? If one of your accounts is compromised, hackers will be able to log in to all the other accounts. One of the biggest challenges of using various accounts is the fact that it is difficult to remember many passwords. However, this does not have to be a challenge because the passwords can be stored in a password manager. Just ensure that your password manager is protected by the two-factor authentication mechanism. 

Enable a Firewall

A firewall is a program that protects your computer from hackers who try to gain access to and use your computer. Using a firewall on your PC is beneficial because it actively scans the traffic going in and out of your PC and prevents unauthorized connections. This traffic is blocked, which means your PC cannot be hacked or attacked by hackers, infected with malware, or threatened in any other way online.

Therefore, a firewall functions as a protective barrier between your computer and the internet, filtering out traffic risks such as outgoing traffic, internet transactions, application layer traffic, connectivity and communications. That’s why it is important to have fast internet like cable or DSL. Some computers are equipped with firewalls as a standard feature but may be turned off. So make sure you activate your firewall and that it has the latest updates. 

Update Your Operating System 

Keeping your apps and browser updated is useful in eradicating software flaws. These are the vulnerabilities through which hackers can monitor your activities online and even steal your details. Updates contain fixes for the operating system and security enhancements that help prevent malware, viruses, and other cyber threats from compromising the device. Applying these updates helps you to be safe with your PC because its protection is updated. It also avoids compatibility problems and optimizes the performance of the operating system. Thus, always look out for and apply OS updates to ensure that the computer is safe.

Take Precautions When Clicking Random Links 

Cybercriminals have shifted their tactics to new levels in their phishing activities. They design websites which may seem legit. They even pretend to be friendly and send emails from what may look like a legitimate friend or business organization with a link to a corrupted site. However, emails are not the only method cyber criminals employ to access data and files from victims. Other areas requiring caution are social networks, chats, instant messaging, and gaming platforms. 

It is advisable to be cautious when using a personal computer to avoid acquiring and installing malicious software. Malicious software can do different things to your computer, such as delete files, steal your information, or even take over your PC. If you click on a random link from your web browser, you may not know whether the site is trusted or is an attacker site. Therefore, to avoid getting attacked, it is important to confirm the legitimacy of a website before getting into its links.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi Networks 

Public Wi-Fi offers convenience; you can quickly download learning materials while in a restaurant, buy essays online, and do quick research on an assignment topic, among other online activities. However, public Wi-Fi is mostly unencrypted, which means anyone in the same network can view your online activities. Besides, most public Wi-Fi networks use cheap access points and routers with low security features. 

Even though public Wi-Fi is convenient, it’s important to exercise caution when using it. Cybercriminals use their technical knowledge to sneak into networks that lack security to spy and steal private information. The biggest threat that comes along with using public Wi-Fi is identity theft. Hackers can use the info they steal from a victim and create phishing emails and cyber-attacks. Other dangers include:

  • Victim profiling.
  • Passwords might be stolen.
  • Ransomware and malware attacks.
  • Session hijacking.
  • Confidential data leaking.

Signing Off

Most students overlook data theft, but it’s something to be wary of and should be taken seriously. Safeguard yourself from cyber-attacks by being responsible when using the internet and being careful with where you share your personal information. Adopting responsible browsing will keep your info and devices secure. Remember to back up your data regularly. Backing up important data and keeping crucial files in a separate device will help you access your files in case your computer crashes, gets a malware infection, or gets stolen.

This Post was Last Updated On: June 17, 2024