Students have the same risks when online as everyone else, but more so because of their tendency to use more mobile devices, public computers and to engage in risky behavior.
Mobile Devices: This generation has embraced mobile computing as part of their lifestyle. Mobile devices come with a great deal of security risk, unfortunately. They are easily lost or stolen and hackers monitor the airwaves to intercept wireless communication.
A less obvious risk is sharing. Mobile computing devices can be shared with others in a way that computers could not be in the past. You could be in a classroom and a friend could ask, “Can I take a quick look at my email on your laptop?” Sure, you might say. Your friend might “reward you by clicking on a link that infects you with malware.
Public Computers: Computers in libraries, coffee shops and school labs are notoriously prone to have computer viruses. You might think that such places would make a point to have strong security policies and software in place, but not necessarily.
You need to be especially careful when using a USB stick to move files from one computer to another. Hackers have learned to infect these portable drives so that you become a tech version typhoid Mary, carrying their viruses from one computer to another.
Risky Behavior: It has long been known the kids tend to be less risk averse than adults, but until recently it was assumed that this was because of a lack of experience. However, recent studies show that the portion of the human brain that evaluates risk is not fully developed until a person is in their early 20’s.
Kids are much less likely to be concerned about the risks of computer infection. Downloading those pics of Kate Middleton in the buff or her Royal baby might seem far more important than the consequences of the link being a hacker trick to download malware onto their computer.
What Can You Do?
Clearly, you should avoid the dangerous situations discussed above if possible.
- Password protect mobile devices and do not share it with others.
- Always use strong passwords for your computing devices and important accounts. Kids, and many of us adults, resist strong passwords because they are difficult to manage and recall. However, using a combination of numbers, letters with upper and lower case plus a special character is one of the best ways to stop hackers.
- Use antivirus protection for mobile devices that includes anti-theft protection
- Be careful when using public computers. Always viruses scan any files you create or download on them.
- Use safe and secure cloud storage, such as ComodocCloud, instead of carrying files around a USB stick
Most of all, Comodo’s portfolio of antivirus and internet security software can help to keep you safe. Our antivirus for Android devices includes loss and theft protection feature. Our TrustConnect system provides maximum protection for WiFi users.
Comodo Internet Security and AntiVirus for Windows 8 use a unique Default Deny architecture with autosandboxing that ensure that your computer remains unharmed even if you do make a mistake downloading Kate Middleton pics.