As more and more people spend time browsing the internet through their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, it’s important to be aware of the latest methods to protect your personal details from getting into the wrong hands.

A recent survey conducted by Intel Security and The National Student found that a large proportion of students are unaware of the risks they were taking while surfing the internet, and more than half of respondents were unconcerned about online security.

Up to 46 percent of the students admitted that they hadn’t even installed security software on their phones, while among those who had, only 57 percent have updated it in the past year.

Over 90 percent said they connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots on campus, bars, and clubs, whether or not they were sure the connection was secure.

As for freshman, only 13 percent said they took out insurance before leaving for university to ensure their gadgets were protected.

Not only are students leaving themselves vulnerable to online fraudsters by not taking precautions, but many are not even interested in learning how to prevent it from happening: when asked whether they would attend a talk about online security if their university organized one, nearly 52 percent said that they wouldn’t attend.

Intel Security’s vice president (Consumer), Nick Viney, said: “It’s concerning that many (students) are still opening themselves up to risks unknowingly.

“When it comes to students’ online safety, we all have a responsibility. Not only should parents be educating their children before they fly the nest, but universities too – they should be doing all they can to ensure students understand the security policies at their university.”

Viney said there are three very simple measures that students could take to keep their work and data safe:

1) Install anti-virus software in your devices and keep them updated

Hundreds of new viruses are being created each month, so to make sure that you are protected against the latest threats, you should make sure that you not only have anti-virus software installed, but keep it updated to the latest version. That means downloading the latest virus database files, as well as the most current version of the scanning engine.

2) Have a current backup of your files

If a virus wreaks havoc on your files, at least they won’t be lost forever if you have a backup copy. It’s a good idea to store your backup files (on CDs or flash drives) in another secure physical location away from your computer, or on an online cloud storage service.

3) Be careful what you click on

When browsing online, particularly online shopping, be sure to keep your eyes out for any red flags – offers that seem too good to be true probably are. Websites or emails might include phishing links that can trick you into providing sensitive personal information such as banking details to cybercriminals or secretly install malware into your computer, so think twice before you click on a link or open an attachment, especially if it comes from a sender you don’t know or trust.

Image via Unsplash

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