At university, you’ll find that a large majority of your time will be spent on your laptop or computer. Whether it’s writing essays, applying for jobs, social media surfing or streaming TV programmes and films, you’ll be using it all the time, so it’s important to ensure you are protecting you and your desktop from all sorts of dangers on the web.

Here are some easy steps from Graduate Recruitment Bureau on how students can keep safe when online:

Step 1: Choose a password

The first step to staying safe online is to protect your desktop with a password login, so nobody can have access but you. Don’t make your laptop an easy target for criminals who want to hack your personal details or flatmates who want to prank you!

It’s important to make sure your password is strong to prevent anyone trying to hack your computer from guessing what it could be. Don’t use something generic like your birthday or your pet’s name; create a password that’s inventive and tricky for anyone to even slightly guess. Consider using the name of the road your mum grew up with on, or your favourite primary school teacher. Using capitalised letters and numbers will also make your password extra strong and will reduce any risk of your computer being hacked.

Step 2: Back up your work

Don’t be that student who forgets to back up their computer. You don’t want to encounter that unfortunate event of your laptop unexpectedly crashing when you’re in mid flow of writing an essay and end up losing all your work. Always save whatever you’re working on every 10-15 minutes, or send it to yourself via email so you know your work won’t ever be completely lost. You should also back up anything else you have on your desktop (photos, music, etc.) on to a hard drive every month or so too, so everything will be saved if your desktop ever crashes.

Step 3: Download safety software

Before surfing the web, make sure to download and regularly update the following three programs for optimum computer security: anti-spyware software, anti-virus software and a firewall. You can download these online, but if you are feeling a bit clueless as to what these programs actually do and how they work, go into a computer store and ask the advisors to suggest which specific security programs will be best for your desktop, as there are many to choose from.

Step 4: Keep your social media private

Practically every student has some sort of existence on social media; it’s almost unheard of to not be on social media nowadays. But just how public are your details? You wouldn’t want to apply for a job then find that the employer has found pictures on your Facebook from your last night out. It will totally give the wrong impression. This sort of personal stuff should be kept within your social circle and not for the public to see, so make sure your privacy settings are as high as possible.

Also ensure to never post your home address or phone number online either. You should never make this sort of personal information visible online, regardless of your profile being public or private, as you never know who can get hold of these details.  Always think twice about what you post and be careful with how much personal information you expose on the web.

Yasmin Codron | www.grb.uk.com | @YasminCodron 

I am a Marketing Assistant for the UK’s leading graduate recruitment consultancy, Graduate Recruitment Bureau. I provide a range of leading blogs and career websites with insightful and advice based pieces of content, concerning graduate and student news, job application advice, student life and social media.

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