Privacy and Security

The College Student’s Guide to Internet Safety

If you are a college student, you would understand the importance of the internet in your life, not just on the campus but home as well.

It’s the means of your assignments, to stay connected with family and friends missing you back at home, and to connect with fellow students at your college.

But, the perpetually-on, forever-connected environment of college life sets you in danger. In this article, we’ll explain to you how to remain safe online even when you are away at college, from knowing campus network edicts to checking your online image.

The pervasion of the internet can make it look safe, however, the world of the internet can be a risky place to survive in, moreover the hyper-connectivity of university life raises peril.

Online you’re bared to a plenty of diverse perils, from online harassment to computer malware and college-specific permissions. Though the internet can appear like a hidden and secluded site to yield your experiences, the generation of the internet has emerged in a trend to overshare that can drive to severe dangerous results, both online and offline.

Here, you’ll discover a complete model for enduring safe while online, from common computer safety suggestions to how to report for online harassment.

Campus Internet Rules

Every college/University will have its private edicts concerning how students are capable to use the college’s network and emailing system. It’s vital to know your school’s laws—and the outcomes connected with taming them.

All the Universities have its own explicit precepts concerning the campus network and university-issued email address. Read them to understand when you can get privacy—and when you can’t.

Understanding Campus Network Rules

Each college has orders concerning the internet, network, and usage of multiple devices for its students; it’s possible that aforementioned rules will be covered in introduction records and must also be accessible on your university’s official website.

General policies may cover:

  1. Torrenting
  2. Downloading, uploading or peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material
  3. Installing software, drivers or other programs onto university computers
  4. Students’ responsibilities regarding their data
  5. Using the network to bypass security functions or obtain classified information
  6. Harassing others using the university’s technological resources
  7. Adding, altering or deleting of files on university computers or servers
  8. Impersonating others online

Plus, maximum universities hold the power to observe or investigate any information on college systems or every information that is shared over the college network. This involves the browsing that you’re performing, and also your bandwidth. Several universities further apply primary filters on their network, frequently to obstruct torrenting and misuse.

Although, these laws need to be specifically affirmed in student contracts, and it’s unfair for college employees to use your browsing data for their own profit or private use, it’s imperative that you examine any internet protocols prudently in order to know the conditions you’re admitting and how these conditions influence your internet practice at college.

Understanding Campus Email Rules

In extension to common regulations about utilizing the university’s network, maximum universities will further have laws encompassing the usage of your college email address.

This is one email address you’re allotted when you register in the university; it is usually generated automatically for you by the college, normally based off your official name as exhibited in the institution’s records, and finishes in “.edu.”

These email ids are to be utilized for educative ideas alone, consisting of communication with teachers and classmates, conducting research and study tasks, and profession and internship contacts.

Just like the precepts concerning the knowledge transferred over the institution’s network, several institutions have stern laws about how the data transmitted through your college email address can be obtained by the college, comprising holding the power to observe and/or document action on your email account.

Usually, the college reserves the email account you’re presented with, comprising all the knowledge transferred or saved using the email account. As this is the situation, learners cannot presume for the email broadcasts transmitted through the account to be hidden.

You must examine your college’s explicit email practices to surmise your expectation of isolation concerning your communications and data.

Computer Security for Students

Comprehend essential computer security to assure you don’t miss files when it means greatest—for instance in the midst of final exams.

Anyone online is exposed to computer intrusions and viruses. In university, you’ll experience this perceptivity furthermore, as your device works as one of your chief source of information and is the means that you’ll use to save the huge preponderance of your college work and files.

Nothing is as panic-inducing as getting your computer to crash in the midst of drafting a session paper or reading for semester finals.

In order to assure that your system is guarded against a malware attack or virus download, grasp essential computer safety.

Enable Automatic Updates for Your Device

Allowing automatic updates assures that your software remains up to date, that is essential to safety. While updates aren’t automated, you have to manually download and install them, that omits you exposed to possible safety holes.

How to Enable Automatic Updates on a Mac

To allow automated updates on a Mac, click on the Apple Menu and select System Preferences. Once you are on the System Preferences menu, click on App Store. When in the App Store, tick the box labeled Automatically check for updates, and all the boxes beneath it. This will assure that all updates, comprising of application updates, safety updates, and operating system updates, will occur automatically.

How to Enable Automatic Updates on a PC

Windows made auto updates obligatory for Windows 10, so PCs on this operating system will perpetually monitor for and install updates automatically.

To allow automatic updates on a Windows device running on an OS below Windows 10, select the Windows/Start button and follow the trail Settings > System and Security > Windows Update.

From here, click on Change settings. Below select how updates are installed, choose Install updates automatically.

Invest in Anti-Virus and Spyware Protection

An Anti-virus software is intended to proactively impede, as well as a defensive search for, identify and kill computer viruses. Basic anti-virus security is the basis of every great security plan, despite what device you’re using.

Anti-Virus Protection for PC

If you’re using a PC, anti-virus software is important. Regardless of the expanding fame of Macs in current times, the maximum of the world’s devices still operate on Windows, presenting PCs way more possible to be attacked by malware. While the updated PC operating systems have inbuilt safety means, they perform as more of a base than a strong strategy. You must additionally spend on a distinct anti-virus software to have your records and files protected from hard-to-find and hard-to-eliminate viruses.

Subscription anti-virus software for PCs:

  1. McAfee Plus
  2. Symantec Norton Basic
  3. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
  4. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Free antivirus software for PCs:

  1. Avast Free Antivirus
  2. AVG AntiVirus Free
  3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
  4. Avira Antivirus

Anti-Virus Protection for Mac

One of the most popular delusions regarding Macs is that they’re invulnerable to viruses. Although it’s more expected for Windows users to grow infected by a virus, Mac malware does endure and can contaminate your system.

Subscription anti-virus software for Macs:

  1. McAfee AntiVirus Plus for Mac
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
  3. Symantec Norton Security Deluxe for Mac
  4. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus for Mac

Check Websites for Encryption

While online, you must regularly review sites for encryption. You can examine this by viewing at the site’s address and discerning if it starts with “HTTP” or “HTTPS.”

“HTTPS,” or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is the sound variant of HTTP. The “S” at the finish stands for “secure,” and symbolizes that the data transmitted between your system and the site or server is safely encrypted.

This is particularly significant when accessing sensitive data online, similar to on banking websites or while shopping online, as it protects your data upon “man-in-the-middle” attacks, which happen when a snooper/hacker hijacks data as it’s transferred from your system to the site.

Backup Your Files

Frequent back up of your data is a common safety etiquette and is particularly essential when you hold a huge volume of essential data on your system, such as college assignment or paperwork. Backing up your data will guard you against data damage in the case that your system gets a virus or departs surprisingly.

You hold certain options concerning backing up of your data, including:

1. Save your data on a flash drive: Having your data backed up on a USB drive is the most essential means to protect them, however also one of the least safe. Though a flash drive will surely fulfill the required purpose, there are some hindrances to this storage system. Flash drives are tiny, both in size and space.This gets them simple to waste and implies that you might not be able to save all your files on one. Flash drives might be a great means for saving one or two significant files though are less-than-perfect for backing up your complete data.

2. Apply an external hard drive: Transportable hard drives are an excellent choice for backing up essential data like documents, pictures, and videos. You manually upload files to an external hard drive; if your real files are modified or erased, you can upload again from the external hard drive. Popular external hard drive makers to include:

3. Store files in the cloud: Arguably one of the safest ways to store your data is in the “cloud”—remote, secure, high-storage servers. It can take a few weeks to backup all of your initial files, but once the software is running your files are backed up continuously and are able to be accessed anywhere.It’s important to note that cloud backup software is not the same as cloud syncing services, like DropBox, Google Drive or iCloud. These services store certain folders or devices in the cloud, and allow you to access them across all devices, but are not designed to store and secure all data like cloud backup software is.Online backup services include:

On- and Off-Campus Networks

As a university student, you’re continually on your devices and on the run. This implies you’ll be shifting within networks—driving from your hostel room or flat to your classrooms, the institution library, and off-campus sites.

As so, there are two chief elements when it is about to college network security: remaining secure while connected to your university’s network and remaining secure when you’re off of your university’s network.

The on-the-go kind of university life implies you’ll be shifting from your university’s network to open Wi-Fi often. Understand how to remain protected on both.

On-Campus Network Safety

More usually than not, when you’re at the campus you’ll be connected to your college’s network. As stated in Section 1, it’s essential to learn the laws your college holds with regards to monitoring and documenting your network activity.

Also, it’s essential to understand the dangers that appear with downloading from obscure sources or clicking on possibly wicked links while connected to the college’s network.

The Dangers of Torrenting

Torrenting—the method of downloading tiny bits of data from various origins at the same time—is common at universities as it gives access to videos, music, and entertainments. Though this might look like a great way to obtain fun, if you happen to download a virus-infected file when connected to the college’s network, it can expand to different devices connected to the same network.

To prevent a virus from possibly infecting the university’s network, you must

  1. Follow primary computer security, also installing anti-virus software
  2. Dodge downloading any data, like videos or music, from unexplained or unauthorized sources
  3. Dodge clicking on any questionable links online or in emails
  4. Enable your computer to automated update

If you think that your system has grown contaminated by a virus, you must quickly exclude it from the network and carry it to your university’s department of information technology.

Off-Campus Network Safety

If you’re in a place that doesn’t have access to the university’s network, like java shops, you’ll require to obtain public, unsafe wi-fi networks.

The requirement to constantly shift between wireless access points (WAPs)—for instance, if going from your hostel room to your class and then to the building and a coffee shop—can oftentimes drive to negligence while connecting.

This casual connecting can be risky, especially due to “evil twin” attacks—a simple method that hackers extort delicate data from devices. Evil twin attacks take place when a hacker produces fake WAPs with related names to certain WAPs to trick users to sign onto them. Once users connect to the false WAP, the hacker is capable to hijack the unguarded data transmitted across the server.

To guard against such sorts of attacks, ensure that the WAP you’re logging into is reliable and seize steps to reduce your peril.

Ask the Wi-Fi Provider for the Correct WAP

It’s normal for hackers or snoopers to set up a false WAP with a title that’s quite related to the title of the authorized WAP (for instance, the legal WAP might be named “coffee shop” and the false WAP might be named “coffee shop free”). If you’re connecting to an unprotected WAP and there’s more than a single choice, inquire an assistant at the shop to verify which one is reliable.

Furthermore, when accessing a public Wi-Fi point, you must use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for further security. A VPN functions as an encrypted tunnel, guarding your connection and encrypting all the data you’re sending.

Dodge Entering Sensitive Information

Unsecured networks are often attacked by hackers, therefore you must bypass entering any delicate data when connected to one.

Dodge sending out delicate data, including:

  1. Debit card information
  2. Online banking password
  3. Social Security Number
  4. Credit card information

Disable the Automatically Connect Feature

The automatically connect (or auto-join) trait lets your device to automatically connect to whichever network you’ve earlier connected to. Although this can be helpful for discovered, reliable networks, you must disable the trait for unsafe WAPs.

Wireless access points in common places are frequently targeted by cyber crooks, thus you don’t fancy your device automatically connecting to any without your awareness. Also, if you unwittingly sign into a false WAP, you don’t fancy your device to retain it and connect to it over.

Discover how to place disable the automatically connect trait on the below-mentioned devices:

Mac | iPhone | PC | Android

Disconnect Auto-Join on a Mac

To disable the auto-join feature on a Mac, go to the Apple Menu and select System Preferences. After reaching the System Preferences menu, select Network. Then unselect the checkbox named Automatically connect this network.

Disconnect Auto-Join on an iPhone

Disable the auto-join trait on your iPhone by moving to the Settings menu and ticking Wi-Fi. After reaching the Wi-Fi settings, select the information button adjacent to the network title and toggle the Auto-Join button to off.

Disconnect Connect Automatically on Windows

To prevent your device from getting connecting to Windows automatically, move to your Settings menu and select Network & Internet. From there, select Wi-Fi > Manage known networks. After that, tick on the Wi-Fi connection you wish to disconnect auto connect for and choose Forget.

Disconnect Auto Reconnect on Android

To disconnect auto-reconnect on an Android phone, move to the Settings menu and select Wi-Fi. From there, a list of kept networks will show up. Press and keep the stored Wi-Fi network you wish to eliminate. Then choose Forget.

Social Media Safety

Social media performs a big part in recent society. Though it can be an excellent source to record life’s events and remain connected, it can further place you at danger for anything from online harassment to wasted job openings.

As a university student with constant admittance to the internet, it can be accessible to ignore that your online life doesn’t live in a void—the internet is a free resource, and everything you set in a public online space endures for people to view.

The Importance of Protecting Your Online Image

Your online picture doesn’t remain online. It moves over to your offline world, as well.

One of the most significant things to retrieve if going online is that your online representation influences your offline world. This is particularly right when it gets to hunting for a job. Not just do the bulk of employers operate an introductory online search while vetting applicants, 70 percent of recruiters who have applied LinkedIn state they’ve chosen not to select a personality depending on what they discovered regarding them online.

One of the greatest ideas to have your personal life out of your public life is by getting all of your social media accounts separate, that borders who can view what you share.

Discover how to fix your privacy settings on the below social networks:

Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat| Instagram

How to Make Your Facebook Private

To get your Facebook profile hidden, travel to your General Account Settings and select the left-hand travel button named Privacy. From there, switch the who can contact you and who can view your posts settings from Public to Friends or only me based on your preference.

How to Make Your Twitter Private

To get your Twitter page private, drive from your profile to Settings and privacy. After that, select the Privacy and safety part on the left-hand sidebar and choose Protect your Tweets.

How to Make Your Instagram Private

To get your Instagram profile private, move to the section of Options in your profile and switch the Private Account option to “on.”

How to Make Your Snapchat Private

To get your Snapchat account private, go to the Settings menu and move to the Who Can section. Next, for View My Story, choose My Friends.

Online Harassment

Online harassment is a huge issue at university campuses. As per the Pew Research Center’s 2017 Online Harassment Research, naive adults are particularly possible to meet rigid manners of online harassment. The research discovered that 67 percent of growing adults amidst the ages of 18 and 29 have encountered certain sort of online harassment, by 41 percent stating that they’ve encountered cruel forms of online harassment.

Recent grown-ups are mainly expected to battle oppressive manners of online harassment.

Maximum universities have their personal rules in point concerning campus security and online harassment.

Though these procedures will differ by institution, the Cyberbullying Research Center has determined six basic components that develop an efficient anti-bullying strategy for institutions, including:

  1. Graduated consequences and remedial actions
  2. Procedures for investigating
  3. Procedures for reporting
  4. Specific definitions of harassment, intimidation and bullying (including the electronic variants)
  5. Procedures for preventing cyberbullying
  6. Language specifying that if a student’s off-campus speech or behavior results in “substantial disruption of the learning environment,” or infringes on the rights of other students, the student can be disciplined

If you ever experience that you’re getting attacked online, reach out to the campus police reporting the harassment.

For sensitive support, support or to communicate online harassment to the governmental officials, use the means below.

  1. Report cyberbullying online
  2. Report a cyberstalking case
  3. National Suicide Prevention line
  4. National Suicide Prevention line
  5. Cyber harassment law resources
  6. Cyberstalking toolkit
  7. Cyberbullying resources for adults
  8. Talk with a trained counselor
  9. Bullying resources
  10. Emotional support for cyberstalking victims

Cyberbullying Laws

Presently, there is no central law on cyberbullying. Cyberbullying laws differ by region, and state laws may or may not include:

  1. Formal school policies around cyberbullying, on and/or off campus
  2. Criminal sanctions for cyberbullying or electronic harassment
  3. School sanctions for cyberbullying

Revenge Porn Laws

Different sort of online harassment is “revenge porn,” or the nonconsensual publicity of unclothed photos online. As per the Data Society study, one in 25 Americans has remained a prey of revenge porn. In Pew’s online harassment research, several commentators particularly mentioned to revenge porn as a method they’ve been harassed online.

While with cyberbullying, there is not presently a national law embracing revenge porn; you can view if the state your university is in possesses a distinct revenge porn law.

Social Media Resources

Every social media website holds their private method for communicating online harassment. If you’ve encountered cyberbullying or other kinds of harassment on social media, tell it over their site-specific pages.

Here’s how to report something on social media platforms:

1. Facebook – Click to report a violation of the following topics

  1. Violence
  2. Hate speech
  3. Nudity
  4. Threatening messages
  5. Impersonation accounts
  6. Threatening messages

2. Instagram – Click to report a violation of the following topics:

  1. Hate accounts
  2. Impersonation accounts
  3. Abuse
  4. Exposed private information
  5. Exploitation

3. Twitter – Click to report a violation of the following topics:

  1. Impersonation accounts
  2. Exposed private information
  3. Pornography
  4. Violent threats
  5. Abusive behavior

4. Snapchat – Click to report a violation of the following topics:

  1. Invasions of privacy
  2. Threats
  3. Violence
  4. Harassment
  5. Bullying
  6. Impersonation accounts
  7. Hate speech


The internet is an essential portion of your life as a university student. It’s where you discover, interact and unite. Lamentably, today’s hyper-connectivity and the pervasiveness of the internet can get it simple to overshare, driving to possible results, both online and offline.

The online world offers with various risks from university students, from system viruses to online harassment and missed possibilities. To remain protected online, you must first examine and learn your college’s explicit laws concerning network and email security. Then adopt measures to guard yourself, such as installing anti-virus software, creating your social media profiles hidden and announcing online harassment.


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