The coming of August not only marks the start of another academic year, it’s also the first time that fledgling college students will be away from home. But while leaving the nest is an exciting prospect, there are very real concerns for young people as they brave new waters.
Unsurprisingly, cyber safety tops the list, with online fraud protection company, iovaiton, stressing the need to change passwords every few months. Beyond that, students should be mindful of what they post to social networking sites.
It’s for this reason that the folks at iovation sat down with Portland’s local NBC affiliate to discuss the ways in which students can avoid identity theft in the university setting.
“Not putting the kind of information into social media that could cause a physical or online security threat,” says Scott Waddell, chief technology officer for iovation. “That includes addresses, phone numbers and locations. People just don’t need to know where you are at all times.”
Waddell also implores students not accept random friend requests on Facebook or similar sites from people they don’t know, as this can be yet another opportunity for identity theft. “It’s easy for someone to come in and actually copy the photos from their profile and then go create a new Facebook account as that individual,” says Waddell.
Email phishing is another concern, as students are prime targets for scammers, and Wadell explains that even free Wi-Fi around campus should be approached with caution. Free Wi-Fi comes at the cost of security, and he explains that students should never conduct sensitive transactions over public Wi-Fi.
8 tips offered by iovation:
- The Internet is forever; think about future employers, including those coveted summer internships.
- Don’t add your address to your Facebook profile.
- Don’t broadcast your location; checking-in is fine, just do it sparingly.
- Don’t “friend” people you don’t know.
- Always guard your Social Security number. It’s like a winning lottery ticket for a scammer, fraudster or identity thief.
- Don’t use the same password everywhere. Consider using a password manager.
- Beware of emails phishing for personal information. Never give credit card info, usernames, passwords or other personal info.
- Be Wi-Fi savvy and safe. Free Wi-Fi comes at the cost of security. Unsecured networks are gold mines for identity thieves.