Staying CyberSafe on the college campus

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Staying CyberSafe on the College Campus

Parenting can be difficult, and when considering cyber safety, it applies even when a son or daughter has moved off to college. This week on CyberSafe Parent we go on campus.

When making choices on-line, it’s easy to forget that real-life values and rules should control the choices people make.

No where is that more true, than on a college campus where students spend the majority of the day connecting with others on line.

Logan Buth is a senior at Morningside College. He says as much as 75 percent of his day centers on cyber activity.

“Pretty much every aspect is attributed to a laptop or a phone,” said Buth. “Specifically, communication, we use it all the time now.”

From sexting to stalking, college students are facing a growing list on online options, and with them come new challenges.

“As we get older, we have a tendency to think we’ve become more acclimatized to the internet. 
We know what we’re doing on it more; we know what to avoid, so then we drop our guard more and in doing so, open ourselves up to some more issues,” Buth said.

Just like students face tough decisions, higher education itself is tackling even bigger issues.

Higher education can be particularly vulnerable because, in contrast to hacking targets like banks, college and university computer networks have historically been as open and inviting as their campuses.

Mike Husmann, Morningside’s Information Services executive director said, “It’s a big part of student lifecycle. We want to provide a safe experience for all our students and with us expanding into the online student market, that priority can’t change.”

If you have a college student, here are just a couple things worth sharing the next time you talk about cyber safety.

Beware of a new threat called “spear phishing.” By looking at a persons Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites that include specific personal information, hackers can craft a communication that looks so legitimate that you’ll actually fall for it and you’ll click on a link or download an attachment, and before you know it, your computer is compromised.

Something else experts warn against is their own phone. Of the technology the student carries with them, the phone has by far the worst security. Phone hacking software, which hackers can use to steal passwords and other personal information, can be found online for as little as $79.

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