Cybercrimes are becoming a severe threat to our day to day lives. We can see thousands of cybercrimes happening around us daily. It isn’t only businesses or organisations are affected by these crimes; individuals are also affected and can suffer great losses. Therefore, we should ensure we secure ourselves from these types of attacks.
Attacks against businesses and individuals have double in the last five years, so people should look at new ways to secure themselves from those cybercrimes.
That’s why security awareness is vital for everyone. As we’re talking about students in this post, we’re concentrating on “How to Promote Cybersecurity Awareness in Students”.
Why Cybersecurity Awareness is Vital for Students
Students often face different cybersecurity threats in their journey. It could be social networking, password hacking, class registrations, or many other types of attacks. They are more likely to face cyberthreats as they are more likely to work in public spaces like cafes, libraries, internet-browsing centres, and so on. Such places are more likely to attract cyber attackers, and smartphones and laptops are also vulnerable to theft.
That’s why cybersecurity awareness is vital for students to defend themselves against such threats. Also, the internet is a shared resource so it’s everyone’s responsibility to secure it from these types of attacks.
Therefore, students should have proper awareness of cybersecurity. This can help them in their personal lives and even in their careers.
With all these in mind, I have focused specifically on the topic “How to Promote Cybersecurity Awareness in Students. Let’s explore the different ways to promote cybersecurity in colleges to help students protect themselves from cybersecurity threats.
How to Promote Cybersecurity Awareness in Students
Follow the below steps to safeguard students from being cyberattack victims. These are effective ways to promote cybersecurity awareness in students. Teach the below steps to protect students from online scams.
Conduct Security Awareness Training camps
Conducting security awareness training camps for students is a great way to educate them on the cyberthreats that they could face.
The Training Should Have the Following Steps
- Educate them on cyberthreats
- Raise awareness of cybersecurity and its importance
- Provide information on Phishing attacks
- Instruct them on keeping stronger passwords
- Avoid unsecured networks
- Avoid unsecured sites
Avoid Phishing Scams
Students should have a clear view of phishing scams to protect themselves. When you wish to promote cybersecurity awareness in students, you should explain phishing attacks to them..
Have you ever received a strangely worded email asking you to open a link or attachment? Many such emails are phishing scams.
Phishing scams often attempt to mimic an institution like a university, bank, or other official website. It will look very similar to the institution’s website, with login and so on. They will ask you to share your information create a sense of urgency by claiming there were unauthorised activities, your account is blocked, or something similar to make you take immediate action.
If you see such scams, never click on them because they can potentially steal your sensitive information. According to Avanan’s Phishing Statistics, 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing attack. Researching phishing attacks will provide you with many such alarming statistics.
Few Warning Signs of Phishing Scams
- Related links but not quite matching email domains: If you expect an email from “facebook.com”, a phishing scammer might send an email from “fakebook.com”. This is popularly known as typosquatting. Always be careful while clicking on links
- False Urgency: If you feel there is a sense of urgency in the email, give yourself a moment. Scammers always rely on creating a sense of urgency, so give yourself time to check everything
- Uncanny Familiarity: This is a common phishing technique. The attacker first compromises email, then attempt to phish every contact associated with that email. If you see an email from a known ID which sounds different, then it’s probably a phisher trying to hack you
Always Protect Your Passwords
Students often use an easy password for their accounts. If you wish to be safe, you should always have a strong password to protect your accounts. Never assume that your account is safe because it has a password, because hackers can steal weak passwords.
Follow a few rules to create a strong password and ensure that you never use your name, phone number or any personal information in the password. Never have an easily cracked password. Always use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols in your password. This will help you minimise the hacking threat.
Never Leave Devices Unattended
This may sound odd to many people, but you should always follow this: never leave your device unattended. If you are working on your laptop and you wish to go to the bathroom, you should close your computer. You shouldn’t leave it as it is because you are going to the nearest bathroom.
If you don’t want to close your laptop, you have to password protect your device. Also, add additional layers of security in case your device falls into the wrong hands. Be careful when you connect USB devices as well.
Stay Cautious When Using Unsecured Networks
In general, students often access unsecured public networks. You have to be cautious in such cases because you can be hacked through Wi-Fi.
It’s always best to avoid public networks to be protected. If you want to use unsecured networks, then you are dealing with data that is unencrypted and hackers can easily hack your device through data transfer and different hacking methods.
Update All Software Regularly
Updating software regularly will decrease your risk level. Many updates are specially designed to address security issues in older versions of the software. Staying up-to-date helps you get rid of all the old bugs.
You must regularly update your antivirus and web browsers, install the latest system updates, and so on. Always stay protected with an updated antivirus program so that it will detect the latest viruses.
Use Secure Sites
Access secure sites to stay safer. Whenever you open a web browser, you will have thousands of websites at your fingertips. To always remain protected while you browse, only use secure sites. You can quickly check if the site is secure by having a glance at its URL. If it contains “https” instead of “http”, then your connection to the site is secure.
If you’re striving to promote awareness in students, you should use the above plan to make them aware of cybersecurity threats and how to protect themselves from them. Doing this can help motivate them to stay safe while enjoying all the benefits of an online and connected world.