When you’re in college, you never can be too safe with your computer. You have a lot of files and programs that you need to be able to access and protect on a daily basis, and you don’t want to do anything to compromise your ability to be the sole person who accesses those things on your computer. Here are 5 computer security tips for college students.
- Never Leave Your Computer Unattended
As much as we would all like to believe that the people around us are pretty trustworthy, the truth is, you just never know. It doesn’t matter if you go to San Jose State or Ohio University, if you are in college, you are going to be surrounded by kleptomaniacs from time to time and a laptop is the last thing that you want to leave unattended. If you plan to take a quick shower, make sure that you lock your door first. If you are in the library and need to go to the bathroom, be sure to take your laptop with you.
- Always Password Protect Your Computer
In addition to never leaving your computer unattended, you want to be sure that you password protect your computer. You may be able to trust your roommate not to steal your computer, but what’s to keep him or her from snooping through your personal files? Whether it is to copy your notes, copy a paper, or simply to see if you have anything scandalous laying around on your hard drive, you want to make sure that it doesn’t happen. So be sure to keep your laptop password protected.
- Change Your Password Periodically
Not only do you want to make sure that you choose a good, cryptic password for your computer, you want to be sure to change it from time to time. Especially if you’ve given it to anybody in the past. Most people feel pretty comfortable with sharing their computer password with their boyfriend, girlfriend, or even just their close friends from time to time. It can be awkward if someone asks you for your password, expecting you trust them while you’re caught up across the room. But if things go sour with that relationship, you want to be sure to change that password right away.
- Never Download from Untrusted Sources
One of the best ways to infect your computer with a virus or malware is by downloading movies, TV shows or video games from untrusted sources – especially pirated sources. This may seem pretty harmless and innocent in the moment, but when your entire computer gets hacked and you have to buy a new one, you will know exactly why people have been cautioning you against it.
- Enhanced Security forConfidential Files
So far, we’ve discussed the reasons why your computer should be password protected, but the key to good security is to make people go through multiple locked doors. If you have any photos, videos, or any other kinds of documents that are especially private, then you are going to want to keep them all in a file together and password protect that file as well. Think of it like having a safe in your closet in addition to having a deadbolt on your front door.