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Staying Safe Online for Students: How to protect yourself

Watch out for scams and malicious software

Criminals will pretend to be someone that you know and trust:

  • Your bank
  • The government
  • A well-known charity

Be wary of any request to obtain your money, personal information or password.

Contact the institution directly instead of responding to an email, text message or phone call that could be fraudulent.

Do not open attachments or click on links in suspicious emails or messages. Doing so may run malicious software on your device.

Set up automatic backup

Set up automatic backup to copy your important files and assignments to a separate location.

If a disaster happens and you lose your files, you have a backup that can be restored.

Enable automatic updates on operating systems, anti-virus and other software

No software product is perfect.

Enable automatic updates to fix security flaws and bugs as they are discovered.

Use passphrases

Passphrases, series of words totalling 20 to 30 characters, are more secure and easier to remember than traditional passwords.

Create unique passphrases for your logins. If one passphrase is compromised, your other ones remain secure.

Password managers can save your passphrases if you have trouble remembering them all.

Enable encryption

Enable encryption where available. If criminals intercept or access your files, they are unreadable when encrypted.

Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication means providing two or more ways to confirm your identity before you gain access.

For example, to use a bank ATM, you need two factors: your bank card and your PIN.

Enable multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.

Lock your devices

Operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS allow you to lock your phone or computer when you are not using it to prevent unauthorised access.