Modern students spend plenty of their time online. According to recent data from ResearchGate, 34% of young people spend 4-6 hours on the web, 23% spend 2-4 hours, 17% spend 6-8 hours, 13% spend 1-2 hours, and 3% go online for over 8 hours.
The reasons for using the Internet are quite different. Surveys reveal that most of their online time students spend on research and studies. They do their homework, use “write my dissertation for me” services to keep their grades high, take online lessons, and access educational materials. Apart from this, the average student also spends a lot of their online time on social media, streaming services, and shopping.
While there is generally nothing wrong with students hanging out so much on the web, we can’t deny the hazards associated with such intensive Internet use. Today, there is no secret that there are plenty of scams and hackers out there that can threaten your privacy. However, you can avoid falling victim to them. Read on to learn how to keep your Internet connection safe at all times!
Keep All Your Gadgets and Apps Updated
Most often, hackers and scams attack when they find a breach in the software or hardware their victims use. It can be a bug or even the slightest system error that will make you vulnerable to their attacks. That’s why the first thing you should do to protect yourself is to keep everything updated. This implies regularly updating your:
- Operating systems;
- Antivirus software;
- Other programs and apps that you use regularly.
And that’s not all. Did you know that the firmware of your home Wi-Fi router also needs to be updated, just like your smartphone’s or laptop’s OS? Not many know this, but it’s true. Therefore, make it a rule to check the settings of your router on a monthly basis to know when there are new updates.
Learn to Set Strong Passwords
Another common reason why people fall victim to scams is that they simply use weak or similar passwords on their online accounts. When your passwords are weak, they are incredibly easy to guess. Hackers can use guessing techniques or special software to hack your accounts and gain access to your private data. Now, imagine if cybercriminals will be able to access your banking accounts or other pages that contain personally identifiable information. This can cause you plenty of trouble. In fact, even if they access seemingly harmless accounts like the ones you have in essay editing services, social networks, and other sites, they can use it to access other accounts too. Thus, the next tip for ensuring a safe connection is to learn how to make your passwords strong.
- Here are a few basic guidelines to help you get started:
- Come up with longer passwords that are at least 16 characters long;
- Mix up upper and lowercase letters;
- Add numbers and special characters to make them harder to guess.
An extra safety tip is to use an online password checker to test the security and strength of your passwords in real-time. Also, don’t hesitate to use a password manager in case you are afraid to forget your new, strong passwords.
Change the Names of Your Networks and Routers
Probably everyone should know that when you set up a new Wi-Fi router, it typically comes with a generic username and password. Most people don’t pay any attention to this and just stick with the standard details to make things easier. However, this is a rather dangerous approach.
Default network and router details typically include the specific numbers of the router model and brand that produced it. This data is available publicly and, thus, can be easily accessed by cybercriminals who want to hack your network. Due to this reason, it’s crucial that you change the default name and password of your new router as soon as you install it. Then, you also need to change the login details of your Wi-Fi network. These simple steps will help you add a second layer of protection for your home network and ensure that your connection is less vulnerable.
Another thing not every user knows is that every Wi-Fi router available on the market today has an encryption feature. This feature is there to secure your connection and encrypt your personal data to make it inaccessible to criminals.
To enable this feature, you need to tweak your router’s settings. Find the security settings and look for the option called WPA2 Personal. From there, find the option WPA Personal and pick the AES encryption. To enable it, you will need to enter your password, and encryption will protect your Wi-Fi network and all devices connected to it.
Leverage a VPN
A VPN (or a virtual private network) is one of the greatest tools for securing your web connection. It becomes a middleman between your gadgets and the Internet and hides your personal data and activity from everyone, including hackers and even marketers who are hunting for your data.
You should install a good VPN on all your devices and use it whenever you feel that your connection is in danger. This is especially important when you connect to public hotspots that are common targets for cybercriminals. Nevertheless, you can also use a VPN for extra protection when using your home network.
The Bottom Line
Surfing the web is something students do on a daily basis. While it can be incredibly helpful in your studies and personal matters, the Internet is also full of hazards. So it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself from them.
Now that you know about the most effective safety measures, be sure to start using them. This way, you will always stay safe online and will prevent a variety of dangerous and unpleasant situations!