5 Ways for Students to Protect Their Privacy on the Web

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In the age of social media, it can get tempting to share every inch of your life online. We see it daily – when one of our friends gets married, goes on vacation, or loses a loved one. Additionally, apps like TikTok make it easy for strangers to share intimate details of their lives and go viral for it.

Sharing your life online isn’t inherently wrong. However, it compromises your privacy and safety. As a student, it’s important that you protect your privacy online so it doesn’t come back to bite you in the future. Here are six ways students can protect themselves online.

Don’t Visit Dangerous Websites

As a student, the odds are that you’d like a bit of help on your assignments. Unfortunately, finding a credible site isn’t always easy. Fortunately, we’ve made it easy to find the best native writers from the USA on our essay writing service on a secure platform. How can you tell if a website is sketchy or not? Check the URL. Does it start with HTTP or HTTPS? Websites that begin with HTTPS are secure. 

In line with this, shop only on secured sites. A page asking for sensitive information, like the three digits on the back of your credit card, should always have a URL that begins with HTTPS.

Don’t open suspicious links. This includes links from unknown senders. Sometimes hackers create emails that closely resemble company or school emails. This is called a phishing scam and they can be very sophisticated.

Switch Search Engines

Most search engines are experts in tracking our activity – especially when we link our phones to our laptops. Google, for example, tracks your phone’s location in addition to your search history and online habits. Yahoo and Bing do the same thing in order to sell ad space.

Switching to a ‘no-tracking’ search engine can protect your privacy. These types of search engines don’t collect data on their users. They are so secure that you could even searchdo my math homework’ on your school’s Wi-Fi without them being able to see it. Some of the best private search engines include DuckDuckGo, Startpage, and Searx. 

Limit the Amount of Personal Information You Disclose

Don’t share your passwords with other people, even if they’re your friends or significant other. This should go without saying, but there’s a surprising amount of young people who believe it’s okay to give out their passwords. Needless to say, this can lead to unbecoming photos or information being leaked.

Additionally, be careful of what you post. Don’t share family details, like where your parents work or who’s home at specific times of the day, online. If you’ve left the house, it’s also a good rule of thumb to wait to post photos once you’ve left a location. Never post your location in real-time.

Lastly, hackers can use personal information to hack your account. Be sure not to share the name of your first pet, your mother’s maiden name, and other answers to security questions.

Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks

Don’t use public Wi-Fi to make transactions or look at sensitive information. Here are other ways to identify whether the website you’re visiting is secure or not:

  • It has a verified trust seal.
  • The lock icon in the URL box says the website is secure.
  • The website has a privacy policy.
  • You can find positive reviews on other websites.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN creates an encrypted connection between your device and the website you’re visiting. This encrypted connection is created by first routing your data to a VPN provider that encrypts the connection to the website you intended to visit. 

The encrypted connection is open to any third party that may try to snoop on your online information, including your own internet provider. It’s crucial to find a paid, trusted VPN provider that doesn’t sell your data for profit, thus defeating the purpose of having a VPN.

Practice Privacy Compartmentalization 

Have you ever heard the saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” When it comes to protecting your online data, this is exactly what you should do. The practice of putting different parts of your online persona into separate compartments is one of the most effective ways to protect your privacy online.

Not sure what that means? Simply put, don’t use one platform for more than one thing. For example, your email service provider shouldn’t also be your search engine. The browser you use for work should be different from the browser used for social networking. 

These small measures make it more difficult for companies to link your data, build a profile on you, and send you targeted ads.

Conclusion

As a student, you probably spend most of your time online – whether it’s for class or entertainment. That being said, it’s essential to know how to practice internet safety. The easiest way to protect your privacy is by limiting how much you share with other people. This can be done by simply not sharing your passwords or even by downloading a VPN.


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