One of the most stressful times you’ll encounter as a student is the last few months of the term. From exams and deadlines to dissertations, practical projects and coursework – who has time to think about cyber security? Especially when the summer holidays are just around the corner, right? Not quite! Not educating yourself about cyber security could be the biggest mistake you make when it comes to protecting your work and yourself as the end of the academic year ends.
By becoming cyber aware, you could save your work from the clutches of a cyber-criminal or a computer fail. And what better way to start than with our 3 cyber tips below.
Whatever you do, don’t rely fully on your desktop to work from or save your work. Your computer can fail at any time, and if you haven’t saved your work elsewhere, the outcome could be catastrophic.
Any work you have for school, university or even personal files should all be backed up to the cloud, shared drive or another reliable device. You should back these files up regularly so you always have a recent copy, if the worst were to happen. Check out our blog on backing up for more information on the best ways to back up your work.
Don’t use an open WIFI network
I know it’s tempting and perhaps somewhat impossible to avoid for some students, but if there’s a free WIFI network that you can access easily without a password, it probably isn’t encrypted. This means anything you do while connected to that network can be seen by anyone, or more worryingly – a potential hacker. Many cyber criminals gain access to information through public WIFI networks, so if you’re logging onto personal accounts on university systems, remember that someone could be keeping track of your passwords and details.
Only connect to networks that are secure.
Password protect your work and your computer
If you’re working in the library and have to leave your computer, firstly – make sure you save all your work and lock your computer so that no one else can gain access. Someone could mistakenly or unintentionally log onto your computer and open their own files, meaning you’d lose everything you’ve worked on.
Secondly- you should consider password protecting your work, for that extra layer of security. If you’re using Microsoft SharePoint, One Drive or drop box for example, you will have a login and password to gain access to your account so even if someone did gain access to your computer, they would also need your password to get to your personal documents or work. You can also encrypt your files by following the steps below:
1. Select the file or folder you want to encrypt.
2. Right-click the file or folder and select Properties.
3. On the General tab, click the Advanced button.
4. Check the box for the “Encrypt contents to secure data” option.
5. Click Apply and then OK.
Want to create a strong password but don’t know where to start? Read our blog here for some more top tips.