Stay Safe Online with these Safer Internet Day Security Tips

Celebrate Safer Internet Day With These 5 Security Tips

The internet may serve up your favorite cat videos or GIFs, but it can also leave your privacy at risk.

If you’re a college student, your mobile device has opened up a world of possibilities: connecting with friends, sharing your latest snaps, watching episodes of your favorite shows, and, of course, access to a never-ending stream of YouTubers to get hooked on.

But, for all that you share and enjoy, there are bits of information that you probably want to keep private. Apps like DFNDR Vault are a good start to prevent prying eyes from seeing you’re embarrassing party photos and videos. Let’s be honest, you probably also want to keep what you do with your friends hidden from curious parents.

February 6th is Safer Internet Day, which is all about being aware of protecting your information – here are 5 more security tips to keep you safe on campus.

Create Complex Passwords
While it can be tempting to use the same password for every website and service that you use, be sure to keep them different and complex. Avoid using full words, names, or other obvious options, such as the name of your pet or favorite sports team to stay safe online. Create passwords with a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, then keep track of them all with a trusted password manager. Using the same password for every account is like using a single key for everything you own – one breach and everything is compromised. Suddenly those cool snaps aren’t so private.

Read More: How to Protect Yourself from Potential Catfishers

Be Aware of What You Click On
Awareness is the number one defense against phishing and malware attacks, to create a safer internet you need to begin with yourself. If you aren’t fully aware of where a random web link will take you, then consider avoiding it. Unknown apps or links can introduce malware and viruses to your device, even gaining access to resources such as your camera or microphone. Stay safe online by know what you are clicking on.

Use Safe Payment Options
It is nearly impossible to not be drawn into shopping online; after all, you need to buy that latest game for your smartphone. Make sure you’re using trusted websites when making purchases and don’t save your credit card info if you can avoid it. One thing you could do is utilize an online payment system such as PayPal in place of your credit card to try and stay safe online.

Consider What You’re Sharing
You love to share your status with your crew (or family), but take a moment to consider what you may be revealing.  Don’t tweet details of huge purchases or post pics of new jewelry as that can draw the campus thief to your door. Sharing your location for your next party? Probably not a good idea to share with people you don’t know. To keep safe online turn on off location sharing whenever possible or choose to share your location with a select group.

Try a VPN
While we often recommend staying away from public WiFi as a secure practice, it isn’t exactly practical. Whether you are hanging out on campus or the local coffee shop, many of us need internet access to get school work done. Utilize a secure VPN, such as DFNDR VPN, to keep your data private and encrypted from those snooping on the network or bypass annoying content filters. If you’re a gamer, you can enjoy the possibility of a reduced ping time if the VPN’s server has a quicker route to your game host – reduced ping means less lag and more responsiveness in online multiplayer games.