Social Media Security Guide for Students: Managing Privacy Online
College students top the list of accessing open Wi-Fi internet networks more than any other online users. And unfortunately, in the process, some of them carelessly mismanage their online activities and personal information, inviting trouble for themselves such as malware attacks, identity theft, and security threats.
Whenever you log into your social media accounts, you are leaving behind digital footprints which could lead back to your identity. The consequences could be dreadful if sensitive data such as credit card or bank account credentials fall into the wrong hands. Identity thieves hence can make fraudulent transactions with your debit/credit card by accessing your payment information. Moreover, uploading photos on social media with location check-ins or tags exposes you to potential stalkers and cyber bullies who can use this information against you. As a result, being a student, it is of vital significance for all of you to protect your online privacy. Following How-to can help you do so.
Be wary of Downloading Free Media
When you download media content from direct download websites, torrents or streaming hosts, you are also very likely to download viruses and malware to your device. Most of these websites enclose malicious codes which can hijack your personal information. To prevent this from happening, use a VPN for torrenting. Ivacy’s secure downloading feature and P2P optimized servers offer the best speed for P2P file-sharing along with complete anonymity, security, and privacy.
Do Not Store Your Payment Information Online
Popular online retailers like Amazon and Ali Baba allow users to store payment information on their sites for future use. Although most of these websites are assumed to be secure, it is still very much possible for hackers to break in and access this stored information and make unauthorized transactions. Avoid storing payment information online to improve your financial security.
Create Strong Passwords
It is very easy for a hacker to crack your password if it is your name, birth date, pet’s name or phone number. The stronger the password, the harder it is for hackers to crack. Make your password a sentence that’s at least 12 characters long – you can even use capital and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation, and spaces!
Also, create different passwords for different accounts. If a criminal has your login information for one account, he/she will try to break into your other accounts.
Avoid Oversharing Personal Information
Since it’s hard for students to resist the urge to share everything online, cybercriminals can easily access their personal information and use it against them. To prevent this, avoid oversharing and review your privacy settings so that your status updates can be viewed only by the people you trust. Also, declining friend requests from strangers, since they may not be trustworthy, is best practice.
If what you are sharing involves your friends or family, make sure that you check with them to see if they are comfortable with you doing so. This will help you to avoid sharing their sensitive information. Posting about your neighborhood or place of residence could also make your home a target for robbery.
Delete or Clear Tracking Cookies
Tracking cookies are pieces of code that websites stick to your devices to collect information regarding your online activities and behavior. This information is further sold to numerous corporations around the globe without your consent.
If you are not comfortable with how your data about you is both collected and used, remove or block all the unwanted cookies regularly on your browsers.
It is common practice for social media and banking login pages to use HTTPS encryption to juggle login information and help prevent identity theft. Prior to signing in to a social media platform or other website or app, ensure that you check for https at the beginning of the URL.
It is also possible for you to encrypt your whole internet traffic by using a VPN with encryption features. Ivacy does offer 256-bit encryption that makes it almost impossible for hackers to steal your data or log your activities.
Be Cautious on Public Wi-Fi Networks and Computers
Installing malware on public networks and computers and stealing personal information from unsuspecting users is the oldest tricks in the cybercriminal books. On the other hand, these criminals also set up free Wi-Fi hotspot stations and collect data via phishing. To avoid becoming a victim to such scams, it is highly recommended to use an anonymous VPN like Ivacy as it encrypts your internet traffic, protecting it from any kind of possible trespassing and data theft.
Public Wi-Fi spots are where you are most vulnerable to online threats, but with Ivacy, every network is a secure network.
It is still all okay to engage in social media activities, but the importance of being cautious in the digital world should not be underestimated. One must ensure that you keep your personal information from getting into the wrong hands. Identity thieves are always on the lookout for their next prey. But with Ivacy’s military-grade protection, you are fortified.