11 tips to stay safe online

University students will spend a lot of time on their computers, whether it’s doing research for an essay, searching for resources, or emailing lecturers. There are many ways to ensure that your data is kept private and to ensure that you stay safe online. Here are our 11 best tips:

1. Use official email addresses or social media accounts

When interacting with your university, be sure to check that you are using official email addresses or contact information. If you are emailing a lecturer or department, make sure you use the official email addresses they have provided. You can contact your student union or student office to get information about someone new. Do not respond directly to emails that appear to be sent by a member of the University if the email address does not look correct.

When it comes to social media, make sure you follow official channels run by the university. It’s quite easy to create fake accounts, so make sure it’s either verified or has real links to the university by checking on the university’s website.

2. Check your protection software regularly

Whichever security software you choose, make sure you scan for malware and bugs regularly to keep your devices safe. These programs can check for dangerous viruses working in the background on your devices that you might not notice otherwise. They also have a variety of firewalls and VPN security offerings that can keep you safe when you’re on the internet as well.

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Contact your university’s IT department to see if it has a discounted option for students.

3. Do not log into unsecured networks without protective software

An unsecured network is another name for free, unregulated Wi-Fi. You’ll usually be using an unsecured network if you’re logging into free Wi-Fi at a restaurant, mall, or other public space. Although it can be convenient to use free Wi-Fi, remember that it is not regulated by anyone and therefore can be unsafe.

If you need to use an unsecured network, make sure you have enabled protective software. Generally, campus wi-fi is secure because you have to use your student ID to log in, but make sure you’re still running protective software to avoid unauthorized downloads or the like.

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