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Going to College Next Year? Beware of Cyber Attacks

Higher education institutions are being targeted by hackers.

If you’re going to college next year, make sure you know about cyber attacks that are hitting post-secondary schools. There are more cyber crimes than ever in 2018, but you can avoid these with the right security software.

Read More: My Apps Gave Up Personal Info Again

One wickedly smart way to protect your Android or IOS phone is by using dfndr vpn, a virtual private network that hides your IP address and location, especially on campus Wi-Fi. With a VPN, you can keep your gaming, snapchatting, or Facebook sessions totally anonymous from snoops or hackers.

Here’s what you should know about cyber attacks before you land at college.

The Stats
Last year alone, there was an average of 12 DDoS attacks per week. These types of attacks can infect entire colleges by hitting multiple computers or devices at once, causing them to lose Internet access. Additionally, about a quarter of all colleges or universities were the victim of cyber attacks in 2017.

Devices Get Targeted
Plenty of institutions have a policy that requires you to bring your own device, which can expose any personal info stored on tablets or smartphones to potential hacking attempts. Criminals sometimes take advantage of anyone not using security apps or VPNs and hack into their devices to steal data, oftentimes planting ransomware in order to get a fast payoff.

Your devices should always have security software downloaded, as well as the right authentication methods to make sure cybercriminals have a hard time gaining access.

How Do Hackers Target College Kids
In addition to attacking single devices, hackers also target full-on networks with DDoS attacks and viruses. Phishing scams are also common, so steer clear of any weird emails that could contain malware. Make sure your password is randomized and has a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. While it feels like a hassle, change your passwords frequently, at least every 6 months during college life.

And while it’s fun to exchange files with your friends, don’t download any files when using a public computer because these are accessed by other people (ahem, potential hackers). Always log out of public computers after you use them, especially if you send a file from your smartphone to your email or vice versa.

Bad News… Colleges are Huge Targets
The main reason why hackers go after higher education institutions is that they can easily access a lot of personally identifiable information (PID) such as social security numbers, payment information, medical records, and more. Also, the average cost of a data record belonging to a university is worth roughly $200 with registration, which can net hackers money if they steal school records and put it for ransom.