A Cybersecurity Guide to Make Internet Safe for Students

Cyber security is the application of technologies, processes and controls to protect systems.

According to the facts presented on Statista, there were over 650 million users of the internet in rural and urban areas of India during the year 2020. Ultimately, the internet plays a very important role in the academic activities of students. Currently, most schools, colleges, and educational institutions are operating, teaching, and conducting classes online.

A student is now required to spend a great proportion of the day on the world wide web. As know, the internet is a never-ending ocean of both productive and destructive information. Most information on the internet is not filtered or age-restricted due to which students may access the information they do not need to.

Cybersecurity is the term used for a methodology of defending the smart device from viruses, inappropriate information, IT damage, or theft. There are uncountable threats on the internet that students encounter every day while surfing.

Surprisingly, most threats on the internet like malware, internet worms, password attacks, and SQL injection are non-trackable and not suspected easily. Therefore, antivirus software is installed on the devices to prevent exposure of such viruses and worms from the world wide web.

This blog will guide the readers for making the internet more safe and secure for students.

Starting From the Top 4 Internet Dangers That Students Encounter

Students are more vulnerable to cyber attacks like cyberbullying and scams.

After day-long conversations with anonymous students, it is found that most of them have faced at least one cyber threat while studying on the internet. A larger proportion of the students were not able to track the source of the threat.

This section of the blog has summarized the four most notorious internet dangers:

1. Cyberbullying

The unfortunate issue of bullying is not just limited to physical schools, colleges, or universities. As the future schools are going virtual with advanced technologies, cyberbullying is a new-age problem that a lot of students encounter. It causes severe psychological, emotional, and physical stress to the students. Criminals use digital-communication tools to bully an individual online and blackmail them for monetary purposes. Sometimes, criminals bully students online using the personal information that they post on social media.

2. Phishing & Smishing

Phishing and smishing are two similar cyber crimes that take place using emails and text messages. In phishing, the criminal simply sends a malicious email to the target. Students are more likely to fall into the traps of phishing and smishing as the received emails are very general in nature. An individual from a non-IT field cannot detect any suspiciousness in the email.

3. Downloading Viruses

There are certain known and unknown viruses that penetrate the device from the internet while downloading software or information from third-party websites. These viruses get downloaded into the computer without any permission of the user. Therefore, the user is completely unaware of its existence on the PC. Moreover, these viruses perform harmful operations in the software and the hardware of the smart device. This can further lead to temporary or permanent damage to the device.

4. Online Scams

Online scams occur very commonly in almost every segment of the internet. Several types of scams using texts, online messages, social media, emails, online banking, and technical support happen almost every day. 31% of Indians have lost their money in scams according to the Microsoft 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report. Moreover, online scammers prefer to target younger or underage individuals most of the time.

Protective Measures to Keep Students Safe on the World Wide Web

There are several internet solutions for us, to protect ourselves from dangerous cyber threats.

There are various measures that parents or educators can opt for and make the internet a safer place for its children and students. Many online protection tools and extensions from reliable developers allow the users to set security on their personal information, connections, and vital details. Some tools help the users to ban certain websites or web pages that seem suspicious or dangerous.

The internet service providers also offer numerous safety extensions that block unwanted or miscellaneous viruses to inject into the system. Moreover, antivirus software is very successful in preventing viruses or internet worms to enter the PC. Full and customized scans from such antivirus software help the users to detect and immediately act on the virus.

This section of the blog will describe the protective measures that guardians can use to make internet use danger-free:

1. Antivirus Installation

An antivirus is an external software that protects the device from downloading malware, internet worms, viruses, and unnecessary bugs. It has the capability of automatically detecting potential viruses that are not either not required or are harmful to the device. There are numerous types of antivirus software available as per the requirements of the device. Overall computer security software is recommended that can work both online and offline. Moreover, the user should run regular quick and full scans on their PC for additional security

2. History Check

There are multiple helpful tools on the PC that we are not aware of. Users can keep an eye on the web pages and websites that have been surfed on the PC. Simply go to the settings icon in any browser and click on the history option. Parents should always keep an eye on the internet pages that their children are visiting on the computer and even mobile devices. The browser also allows you to check history according to the date, day, or month. In easier words, one can check the address of the webpage that was visited two months ago on the PC (if the history has not been deleted).

3. Social Media

Most of the online scams and frauds take place on social media. The number of cyber frauds is constantly increasing with every development that is happening in the IT sector. Underage children often create their social media accounts out of curiosity and post personal information. Firstly, parents and teachers should educate young children about social media, its merits, and its demerits. Students should be aware of the kind of fraud that can happen to them on social media. One must check the type of content that is being shared or posted on their children’s social media accounts.

4. A Conversation About the Cyber World

In most of the observed cases of cyber frauds with underage individuals, the children aren’t able to share the issue with their parents. It generally is because of the thoughts of respect or fear. Therefore, they do not receive the support of an aware adult, security services, or cyber police. Parents must talk with their children about their social life and life on social media. In addition to this, digital literacy and awareness is the most important aspect of securing self and children on the internet. Stay updated and keep following the cyber securities that are active in your residential location.

Bonus Tip:

Internet is an extremely useful, informative, and productive resource if used safely with great security. Limitless predators that are online are looking for ‘new to the internet’ prey. Children perceive the internet only as a source of education and entertainment. A large part of accessible content is made only for adult individuals. Children sometimes unintentionally or out of curiosity access content that is not appropriate for their age. Such experiences can put a negative impact on the overall development of students.

Parental Control Softwares: These allow the parents to put various kinds of restrictions on the systems. Such software helps the parents in filtering the content that is to be accessed and blocking websites that should not be accessed. Parents can monitor real-time usage by having a look at various aspects like surfing time, most visited internet addresses, time spent on a particular webpage, and whatnot. Additionally, guardians can also use privacy settings for more control on the usage.

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