Posted in:

5 Basic Mistakes Students Make with Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity issues are put into focus by many experts recently. However, far too many students and other users are still making the same old, basic security mistakes. Cybercrime has quickly become a major problem for people, especially students, all over the globe. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, while awareness of this multifaceted threat is increasing, we’re still making the same mistakes when it comes to cybersecurity.

These days, students are overwhelmed not only by cybercriminals but also by getting an A for essays and other comprehensive academic papers. Some of them spend hours wondering how they can improve their writing skills, suffer anxiety, or worse. Luckily, any student (College or High School) can get help at Regardless of the type of paperwork, difficulty and length qualified writers are ready to get started. They know how to write an apa essay, descriptive essay or any other academic essay.

Now straight into cybersecurity mistakes:

Email: This ruse is nothing new
Social engineering tactics are used for decades, yet people keep falling for them. Today, phishing via email is used unbelievably often.

Although criminals are improving the ‘quality’ of these emails, with some targeted – known as spear-phishing – emails looking incredibly authentic most of them are spam (the warning signs are poor spelling, random email addresses, and unreal claims that you’ve won something).

Be cautious and smart by carefully checking the recipient, the request, and use some common sense – search via Google rather than using the enclosed website address. Also, be careful of attachments, as they may be malware-infected. It’s crucial to check file extensions and to only open files deemed safe and from legitimate sources.

Social media: New hunting ground
Social media has become the go-to-place for cybercriminals eager to compromise people. That’s expected, as many users still fail to adequately look after their social networks (for example, a 2016 survey showed that 58% of people do not know how to update their privacy settings).

Similar to emails, always check the authenticity of the sender (do they look credible?), the message, and the link (which will likely be shortened). Do not neglect trendy hashtags too, as many are now using them to trap unsuspecting Twitter and Facebook users trying to catch-up with the latest breaking news.

Attitude: It won’t happen to me

Set aside technology for a second, culture is arguably the biggest issue with security right now, and this has been the case for 20 years. Many students and even businesses think they won’t be targeted (i.e. it won’t happen to me).

This sense of security is misguided, as everyone is a potential target. Therefore, this attitude can often cause poor security habits, with individuals and organizations treating, for example, password and Wi-Fi security not as seriously as they should.

Even though good cybersecurity can be achieved relatively easily, through good password hygiene, regular software updates, anti-virus and even password managers, VPNs and secure encrypted messaging apps.

Passwords: The easy way in
Basic, guessable passwords can be easily cracked, and they can open a can of worms if you use the same password across several accounts. Brute-forcing passwords are increasingly fast and easy for criminals equipped with either huge computing power, or access to buy such expertise on the dark web.

Easy-to-guess passwords, like 123456; password; 12345678; and qwerty remain commonplace, with many people failing to see how these ‘low-hanging fruit’ are an entry point for cybercriminals. Based on Forrester’s study, 80% of all attacks involve a weak or stolen password.

Some web providers now force you to come up with random passwords or generate complex ones. Behindhand of whether you face such password policies, you may want to consider a password manager.

Software updates: A lack of
There’s always another software update for our apps, operating systems, or security solutions on desktop, laptop, or mobile. Surprisingly, while the constant pop-ups irritate us, many people ignore them and fail to understand just how important they are.

When ignoring the update, we’re effectively leaving our software and devices vulnerable to attack, as cybercriminals look to exploit out-of-date flaws. This was the case with the recent WannaCryptorransomware worm that so publicly compromised Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) and Spain’s telco Telefonica, and spread to countries throughout Asia, to at least a dozen more countries in Europe.

Many students are aware of the mentioned mistakes, however, most of them do not act accordingly. This is why we are talking about it and encourage you to be cautious and stand for yourself.