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Vulnerabilities / Threats

8/9/2019
03:00 PM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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7 Online Safety Tips for College Students

Heading back to campus soon? Here are seven tips that will get your digital house in order and keep you safe online this semester.
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Don't Download Entertainment From Third-Party App Stores

Students should only download applications from reputable locations, such as Apple's App Store or Google Play, says Ray Walsh, data privacy advocate for ProPrivacy. When they download a game from a third-party site, Walsh says, they run the risk of downloading malware, which then can communicate with a command-and-control server and do more damage, such as steal credit card and banking information and make fraudulent purchases.

If students insist on using BitTorrent to access movies, Walsh adds, they should check the online message boards for which files are safe and think about using a virtual private network (VPN).

Paige Hanson, chief of identity education at Norton LifeLock, points out that many third-party app stores and sites like BitTorrent are more than likely to introduce malicious code that can compromise devices. And she warns that relying on the message boards can also be a trap. "You never know if they are just trying to lure you in," she says.

On the music front, Spotify and YouTube offer plenty of free music, and students can download iTunes safely and at low cost. For games, Lifewire recommends these sites, and trust brand name sites such as Nintendo and PlayStation.

Image Source: Adobe Stock: MQ-Illustrations

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