These days, college students face a number of critical online safety issues that could put them at risk. In fact, these issues have gotten many different college students – from all walks of life – into trouble. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to stay safe online. What you have to realize is that you are entering a portal with no real borders or limits. It’s not like the real world where there are signs and monitoring systems for people to stay safe. Plus, people feel like they can say and do whatever they want behind the relative anonymity of the web. Your first step in staying safe on the web is to know what the risks are. Once you know the risks, you can find smart ways to avoid them. Here are some common issues with online safety for college students.
This issue typically occurs when you click on a link and sign into a fake account. It could also happen just by opening a suspicious email. Phishers work by hacking into email accounts and then convincing that person’s friend to open that email. The goal here is to send out spam from personal accounts. To avoid a phishing incident, you want to always pay attention to the sender of an email.
Theft and Fraud
Another big issue, which is often more damaging than phishing, is theft and fraud. This can occur when you enter your credit card or social security information into an insecure gateway. Moreover, you may think you are getting an email from an organization you do business with, but hackers can mirror the look and feel of that organization’s website. They often ask for late payments or they tell you that you need to update your information. When you do, they steal your information. The best way to avoid this is to always be cautious about where you enter your personal information.
Whether you are getting UC’s nurse practitioner degree, or going to Barry University, you may be in a situation where you deal with harassment. These days, most harassment occurs within social media – where there are fewer checks and balances. You may also start to get harassed in your email. The best way to avoid this is to block that person. On social media, you may even be able to report someone for harassment.
Another big problem on the web are viruses. No matter what type of computer you have, viruses can occur. Some of these viruses can be minor, but others can completely wipe out your hard drive. You can avoid viruses by not downloading pirated material. Moreover, you want to avoid downloading anything suspicious off the web.
On top of everything, college students may also run into a problem called catfishing. A lot of college students use online dating apps, but you could run into a situation where the person you are dating is not actually that person. When you meet someone online, you always want to ask for photos and other information that will identify that person as authentic – you may even want to chat with that person over a video conferencing app. In the end, you just never know who you are meeting online.