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5 Reasons Students Are Targeted by Hackers

6 August 2020

Thanks to the Internet, college and university students got many opportunities for convenient learning and communication. According to research, 73% of teenagers use smartphones, 87% of teenagers use computers, and 72% of them have social media accounts. Given that so many teenagers are present online, there’s no surprise that they often become targets for hackers. In the USA, as much as 55% of people aged 18-29 note that they were victims of data theft at least once.

Students maintain digital connection almost constantly, so online safety becomes an important issue. Cybersecurity is necessary for a good college experience. Not all students, however, understand the importance of data protection. Some students don’t know why they should use a VPN like TrustZone and other tools to protect their personal data, and the reason is that there are some common misconceptions about students’ data security.

Cybersecurity Misconceptions

The IT department protects students’ data

On the one hand, universities and colleges really have IT departments that protect these institutions from data breaches and other types of cybercrime. On the other hand, IT departments cannot protect everyone. It is your responsibility to keep your data safe, and nobody else can make sure that you don’t download any malicious software and don’t click the wrong link.

There’s nothing they can steal from you

Many students think they don’t have any data that would be valuable for cybercriminals. The truth is that every student has information that hackers can try to steal, including a security number. For instance, hackers can steal and sell your social security number to other criminals who may use it to open a new bank account. Hackers can also blackmail you and steal your identity. Personal information is a very valuable asset in the online world, and many criminals want to steal it.

Cybercrime is all about money

You may think that cybercriminals won’t attack you because you’re just a student and they won’t get much money from you. The truth is that not all hackers attack computers for money. Quite often, hackers also enjoy watching people do anything and follow any orders to protect their privacy.

You can simply disconnect from the Internet

This is probably one of the most obvious misconceptions. Just imagine your frustration if you suddenly lost the internet connection — we all need the internet to work, do research, complete assignments, etc. Going offline is rather an impossible task for modern humans. Moreover, the longer you stay disconnected, the more vulnerable you become. You need to stay online so that all the software that you use can update and become more secure. When offline, you get no security updates so your devices are more likely to get hacked once you go online.

Why Are Students Targeted by Hackers?

Students have clean credit histories

Most college students have never bought a car or house, and most of them don’t make regular payments associated with expensive purchases. Therefore, students don’t have much on their record so they have good credit. As a result, they are perfect targets for identity theft. Hackers can steal their personal data and get credit approvals.


Students are unaware of many online threats

There are too many online threats, and many students are unaware of some common cybersecurity problems. Most students don’t use VPN software and other tools to protect their data so they are easy targets.


Students use multiple devices

"Modern students use multiple devices all the time. They use desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches. Usually, they stay online on all of their devices, all day long, so they are constantly vulnerable to cybercrime," says Alan Walker, journalist and essay writing service researcher. Quite often, students use public Wi-Fi networks, and such networks are often not secure. When students go online in libraries and coffee shops, they are most likely to become victims of cybercrime.


Students don’t always control their finances

College students are focused on their social life and studies so finances are not one of their main concerns. Hackers know it so they choose students as targets. If you want your data to be safe, you should check your bank accounts and wallets regularly to make sure that there is no suspicious activity.


Students love social media

Almost all young people use social media all the time. They constantly share photos and videos about their everyday activities, as well as their location. On the one hand, social media is a great thing that enables you to communicate with your friends and followers. On the other hand, social media makes it easier for hackers to learn a lot about you and to steal your personal information. When posting something on social media, keep in mind that you never know who will see it.


Students often ignore basic security rules

For instance, quite often, students have one password for all of their accounts and devices. Therefore, if cybercriminals hack one of their accounts, they can immediately access all the other accounts, as well. Remembering many different passwords might be difficult, but you can use various password managers so that you won’t need to memorize them.

Summary

Modern people are online all the time, and all of us need to protect our personal data. Although students often think that they don’t have any information that would be valuable for hackers, the truth is that students are perfect targets for identity thieves and other cybercriminals. Public networks are not safe because everyone can monitor your traffic, and college networks may have various restrictions.

Thanks to VPN software, you can use public networks safely, prevent hackers, Government agencies and your Internet Service Provider from tracking your online activity



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Tags: hackers, hacking, students, privacy, teenagers, cybersecurity, internet

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