Heading back to college has a new twist for students now, as they shift to e-readers instead of textbooks. E-books make sense when you consider that the typical student spends $300 and $400 per semester on textbooks while their electronic counterparts can cost 50 percent less.
But sometimes saving money through e-books can come at a cost.
According to online security company PC Tools, cyber criminals can steal someoneís identity or financial information by downloading text books from unreliable websites. Other problems may occur as students share e-book files, laden with malware, that can infect your laptop or home computer when the reader is connected.
Students need online protection and security to safeguard their personal information and important assignments. Here are some tips to ensure everyday computing tasks are worry-free.
1. Hit the Books, Donít get hit in the Wallet. Cyber criminals can snatch your banking information over Wi-Fi or unreliable online networks while youíre buying a book online. Donít log onto your finance accounts or enter monetary information online over unsecured networks and questionable e-book retail sites. Always buy from a reputable online retailer. Use secure University or approved wireless and LAN networks for any transactions involving credit card or other bank information.
2. Protect Yourself From Viruses & Infections. Sharing e-book files and other documents from thumb drives and other portable devices could spread viruses. You need protection on your computer when downloading e-book content. If you get infected, it can lead to loss of data, crashed systems and unreliable software programs. Getting your laptop fixed costs money, takes time and decreases your studying productivity and potentially could result in a loss of books and papers.
3. BYOP Ė Bring Your Online Protection. You spent hours on that important research assignment and now itís time to send it off. If youíre using a public computer to submit class work, check to make sure it has antivirus software protection that is active. Even secure websites (https:) can result in simple keylogger theft of your password. Donít let all that hard work go to waste! And always back-up your homework, notes, assignments, and any purchased e-books that you may have on your hardware devices. Keep your backed up files away from your computer just incase something was to happen to your computer and you had to access the uncorrupted files.
4. Donít Crash the Party. More college students are relying heavily on their handheld devices. It is important to remember that, just like your computer, these devices need to be safeguarded against the risk of infection. Syncing up smartphones and PDAís through the internet could transfer malware that ends up crashing your devices. Always check your devices regularly to make sure they are up to date on all the software used to effectively run the programs.
5. Be a Safe Social Butterfly. Most social networking sites, like Twitter or Facebook, should require only your basic contact details (name, address and contact number) to register for their services. Always be cautious if a site requests too much information Ė you may end up with someone or something spying on your machine.
6. Avoid the Freshman 15. Donít pack on viruses and malware when you download music and movies. Downloading your favorite tunes and flicks from free file share sites can leave you vulnerable. PC Tools has products with behavioral protection to stop known and unknown (new) threats.
Following these tips will make you smarter online and improve your protection, safeguarding your personal information and important assignments.