Since the first days of the internet, parents and guardians have worried about its safety. The prospect of exposing young people to unsupervised content made a lot of people panic.
But with the increase in the frequency of cybercrimes today, schools now look for ways to protect students from cyber threats.
With the proper education on internet security, students can now order writing services from reliable experts on domyessay.com without worrying about personal data exposure. Besides, they now know how to differentiate secure sites from those with potentially malicious intent.
So, let’s discuss common cybersecurity threats and why students and faculty members should be worried.
Why Is Cybersecurity Essential in Academia?
Cybersecurity is a cause for concern for any institution that relies on the internet for daily operations. In academia, most databases rely on cloud-based tools to save student data.
Moreover, data from the Pew Research Center shows that most students use Facebook and other social media platforms. And as a result, these platforms expose them to scammers and malware attacks from fraudsters.
So, let’s discuss the reasons why academic institutions must prioritize cybersecurity.
1. Data and financial loss
CSO Online claims that $18 000 is lost to cyber attacks every minute. These advanced malware attacks can hijack the entire interface, leading to massive data loss in the system.
2. Threat to personal safety
Students who use social media are prone to cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment. In extreme cases, these virtual threats can escalate to physical violence in real life. Other malicious activities like ‘doxing (doxxing)’ can expose students’ specific personal information and put them in harm’s way.
3. Campus scams
Some fraudsters create fake websites and redirect legitimate traffic to them. These schemes advertise in-demand services to unsuspecting students and staff. And as a result, these unlucky participants become identity theft victims.
Common Cyber Attacks and Internet Safety Threats
Current cyber attacks are getting more sophisticated. In the past, you only had to worry about antiviruses. But nowadays, hackers create elaborate scams with legitimate tools to fool even avid internet users. So, let’s check out some of the most common internet safety threats on the internet.
Phishing involves luring users into presenting their personal information and login details on a fake website or email chain.
Sometimes, you might receive a message that your bank wants you to confirm a transaction. DON’T provide your login details. Call your personal banker to validate the request instead.
Nowadays, you don’t even need to open the link for the malware to access your data. Once you open the email or website, the malicious third-party can view your activity remotely.
Ransomware refers to a malware attack that locks you out of your device and demands monetary compensation to regain access. When you fall victim to ransomware, it can cripple an entire organization by grinding its operations to a standstill.
Malware is the most common form of attack by malicious actors. The motivation of these attacks is just to disrupt the regular flow of operations within an organization. You can easily fall prey to a virus attack by downloading torrent files or even connecting to unprotected WiFi hotspots.
Fake Online Correspondence
Social media scams are also prevalent today. Scammers nowadays spend a lot of time developing a relationship with their prey. They often come up with stories or promise assistance on problems. And once you send them money, they end all communication and fall off the radar.
How to Avoid Cyber Threats
Despite the prevalence of cyber threats, teachers and students can still maintain their online security. But you need to follow stringent guidelines to protect your information. Here are effective ways to avoid cyber threats.
• Educate faculty members
The best way to prevent cyber attacks is to educate faculty members about standard malicious practices. Nowadays, everybody is getting used to the idea of virtual learning, which presents a massive opportunity for scammers. So, conduct cybersecurity training for faculty members to protect them from attacks.
• Use stronger passwords
Don’t use weak passwords on your sites. Try to diversify your password using a pattern that you can remember easily. Most websites now notify you about password strength. So, include different characters and numerals to protect your data online.
• Limit interaction with strangers
If possible, only communicate with people you know and those with verified profiles. Whenever an unknown profile sends you a link, block the account and report them as spam.
• Avoid suspicious content
The first sign that a website might be fake is if it doesn’t have a security tag — the ‘padlock’ sign does not appear beside the URL. Abandon the site once you notice this ‘red flag.’ And when you receive an email, make sure that the company’s official header is in the mail.
How to Address Cybersecurity Issues
If you are unlucky to fall victim to cyber-attacks, it is not the end of the world. You can still remedy the situation without incurring further loss to personal finances or data. Let’s look at ways to address cybersecurity mishaps.
1. Use anti-malware programs — download antivirus software from trusted providers like Kaspersky and Norton.
2. Change your passwords. Once you notice that your password is compromised, change it to something completely different.
3. Report identity theft to the authorities. Don’t try to take matters into your hands because it can only aggravate the situation.
4. Update your account settings. Activate two-step authentication on your social media and financial platforms.
5. Notify your friends and colleagues. Reach out to your loved ones and inform them about possible security breaches. You could save someone else from the threat.
Cybersecurity is essential to personal safety when using the internet. Students and teachers are prone to malicious attacks from scammers. These attacks occur in the form of phishing and malware. Some students also fall victim to social media attacks.
But you can protect yourself and the faculty by practicing safe browsing online. Visit only trusted sites with security protocols. And when you discover any security breaches, notify the authorities instead of taking matters into your hands.