The Internet is gradually penetrating every organization, public institution, educational institution, and our homes. And this is not surprising. After all, on the Internet, you can find information for an essay or coursework, listen to your favorite music, buy your favorite book, or discuss a hot topic in numerous forums.
The Internet can be a wonderful and useful tool for learning, relaxing, or communicating with friends. But the Web can be dangerous too. Among the negative consequences of the introduction of information technologies in various spheres of public life is the violation of vital human rights. This is manifested in the illegal collection, use, and dissemination of private information on the Internet. So, everyone needs to ensure the confidentiality of their own data. In this article digital experts from JatApp software development break down the most important tips for students to protect their data privacy.
What Is Private Data and Why Is It So Important to Protect Students?
Private data is information about a specific person. This is the data that allows us to recognize a person in the crowd, identify and define a specific person. There are a lot of such identifying data, they include full name, date of birth, place of birth, phone number, place of residence, email address, photo, age, etc.
In the absolute majority of cases, we ourselves indicate our private data when registering on websites, placing orders in online stores. Private information is also indicated when filling out a profile on social networks or even when compiling a search query. By continuing to register on any site, you agree to the user agreement by ticking the box when filling out its fields. This is usually enough to allow site owners to use the data you enter when working with its services.
Thus, by using the site or service, you agree to the transfer and storage of your data, whether it be your date of birth, mobile phone number, or any other private data. In return, you are promised to keep the information confidential and in no case disclose it to third parties. However, in reality, this is not always the case. The party responsible for storing your private data does not always fulfill its obligations. In addition, no one is protected from hacking databases containing private information. Therefore, private data can get to scammers who are well aware of the psychology of students and skillfully use all available information for their own purposes.
8 General Tips to Protect Personal Data
Following a few simple privacy tips will greatly reduce the threat of illegal use of students` private data:
- Limit the amount of information about yourself on the Internet. Delete unnecessary photos, videos, addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, information about family and friends, and other private data;
- Don’t send videos or photos to people you meet online and don’t know in real life;
- When sending your private data or confidential information to someone, make sure that the recipient is really who he claims to be;
- If you need to place an ad on the Internet, use a temporary SIM card and a fictitious name;
- Use only complex passwords, different for various accounts and services. Users who use the same password for all services may lose access to all their accounts if even one of the services is compromised;
- Change your passwords regularly, preferably at least once a month;
- Use two-factor authentication whenever possible. This is a method of identifying a user in service by requesting two different types of authentication data. It provides a two-layer and therefore more effective protection of the account from unauthorized entry;
- Create two email addresses: private and public. Use a private address for correspondence and don`t publish in public sources. Use the public one for open activity (forums, chats, and so on).
How to Protect Data: Ensuring Confidentiality when Using Social Networks, Email, and Game Accounts
It seems appropriate to also note the rules for protecting student privacy when using social networks, email, and game accounts.
Social Media Safety Tips
By following the tips below, students can ensure data privacy when using social media:
- Limit your friends’ list. It should not include random and unfamiliar people;
- If you correspond with people you don’t know, do not use your real name and other private information: the place of residence, place of study, etc.;
- Avoid posting photos on the Internet that will allow scammers to determine your location;
- Try to create complex passwords when registering. They must consist of both letters and numbers and include at least 8 characters;
- It is recommended to create different passwords for different social networks. If one account is hacked, all the others will still be protected.
Email Security Tips for Students
Here are a few tips that students should follow to ensure the privacy of information when using email:
- You need to choose the right email service. There is a huge selection of free email services on the Internet, but it is better to give preference to trustworthy ones;
- Do not include private information in personal mail;
- Use two-step authorization. This is when, in addition to the password, you need to enter a code sent via SMS;
- Choose a complex password. Each email account must have its own strong, hack-resistant password;
- If there is an opportunity to write your own personal question, use this opportunity;
- Do not open unknown files and other attachments in emails;
- When you have finished working with the mail service, do not forget to click on “Exit” before closing the tab with the site.
Tips for Ensuring the Security of a Game Account
Modern students like to spend their free time playing interesting online games. To maintain the privacy of data in the game account, you should follow the following rules:
- If another player behaves badly or creates trouble for you, block him from the list of players;
- Complain to the game administrators about the bad behavior of the player. It is advisable to attach some evidence in the form of screenshots;
- Do not provide private information in the game profile;
- Respect other participants in the game;
- Do not install unofficial patches and mods;
- Use complex and different passwords;
- Do not turn off the antivirus even during the game. While you are playing, your device may be infected.
Modern Internet Privacy Solutions
Summarizing all of the above, we can distinguish several most useful student privacy solutions:
- Do not log in to unsecured networks. It is easy for scammers to get access to them. If you still need to connect to such networks, try not to transmit your private information through them. When connecting to unsecured networks, it is recommended not to enter access passwords and logins;
- Limit backups of devices. By backing up the data on your device, you get more information that needs to be protected. Therefore, you should not back up too often;
- Use strong passwords. They will help you protect your private information that is stored in accounts;
- Do not download files from unknown sources or click on suspicious links;
- Use a VPN. This technology provides secure and high-quality connections over an open global network. It effectively encrypts an IP on the network while protecting student privacy.
Thus, modern solutions really turn out to be effective. Put them into practice and ensure complete protection of your private information on the Internet.