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In an ever-evolving technological world, it seems like we can no longer live without the internet. But a rise in internet usage can only mean a rise in internet crime. For college students, it’s especially important to keep online accounts secure and private.

Here are my tips for online safety:

  1. When using public computers on campus, make sure you log out before leaving the computer. Also, make sure that the browser didn’t save your log-in information automatically. Delete your session’s browsing data if you have to.
  2. Try your best to have a unique password for each site/service that you use. Come up with passwords that are a combination of letters and numbers.
  3. Avoid logging on to unsecured wireless networks. Information sent over these Wi-Fi networks can be viewed by anyone who knows how to access it. As a rule, only log onto networks that you recognize.
  4. Never respond to an online request for your password. If someone asks you for your password through e-mail, don’t reply. No real service would request such information through e-mail. Be aware of phishing attempts!
  5. When you are typing in private information, make sure that you don’t have an unwanted audience member looking over your shoulder. Just like watching a movie in class attracts the attention of the entire two rows behind you, your computer screen is wide open for others to see when you are browsing in public.

(For more tips on online safety, check out Google’s “good to know” page here.)

Photo courtesy of Eric E. Castro via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).