How to Secure Your Digital Life on Campus
As a college student, you are going to be storing a lot of data on your electronic devices and online accounts. You are also going to be accessing bank accounts, credit card accounts and your social media accounts all the time, and this is all information that you are going to need to keep protected. There are all kinds of hackers and bots out there that are attempting to gain access to your electronic devices and your digital accounts at all times, which is why you need to take appropriate precautions when it comes to security. Here is how to secure your digital life on campus.
Password Protect All Devices
Just about every brand of smartphone has some kind of password protection installed automatically, so that no one can gain access to your phone without your passcode or your fingerprint. However, not everyone has their laptops and their tablets password protected. The truth is that once you get access to one device, it becomes easier and easier to gain access to the rest, so you need passwords on everything.
Change Your Passwords Frequently
In addition to password protecting all of your devices, you want to make sure that you are changing your passwords frequently. This doesn’t only apply to the passwords on your devices, but it also goes for all of your various online accounts. You should create a habit of changing your passwords every couple of months. You will want to write them down in a notebook that you can reference on a regular basis. You don’t want to store these passwords online. You want to store them on real paper.
Install Encryption Software
Depending on the brand of your electronic devices, you may have encryption software already installed, but you might have to install it yourself. This will ensure that your passwords and other confidential information cannot be cached on any servers and accessed by everyday hackers. The computers you use at Northwestern University might be equipped with encryption data, but that doesn’t mean this is the case at every college.
Always Logout of Campus Computers
If you don’t have your own tablet or lightweight laptop, then you’ll probably find yourself relying on campus computers from time to time. Whether you are in the computer lab or the library, when you choose a computer, you want to make sure that the previous person who used it is logged out. If you don’t log them out, then they could gain access to your accounts once they log back in. You also want to make sure that you always logout when you are finished with a campus computer. Not just out of all of your accounts, but out of the computer itself.
Create Pseudonyms for Private Files
If you’re earning UC’s nurse practitioner degree, then you could be handling some very confidential medical files. Most of these might be fictional, but you will get an idea of what it means to be responsible for such private content. One of the best ways to keep anyone from finding those files if they do gain access to your computer is to organize them into files with very boring labels such as birthday photos, lab reports, or poetry worksheets. The more boring, the better.