What is a VPN ?
A VPN – Virtual Private Network, is an encryption tool that helps improve your online security and privacy. Protect online traffic with state-of-the-art layers of encryption by routing it through a VPN server. The use of this technology is recommended in any office or a free Wi-Fi hotspot, but why not start small?
Using a Prywatnoscwsieci VPN is one of the surest ways to navigate safely on the internet. It’s a good idea to choose a reliable provider and remember to use a VPN every time you connect to the internet.
Reasons Why Students Should Employ a VPN on a Daily Basis
Regardless of the age of the student and their level of education, in any case the following cybersecurity tips can be applied:
Free public Wifi is not such a good idea
You have put an end to the TFG (Final Degree Project) in which you have been working for months. Now you are taking the last look while having a coffee in your favorite place, which also has a fast Wifi. Ready, you can email it to the coordinator to evaluate the result.
However, you have made a mistake that could result in the theft of your personal data: connecting to the free Wifi without activating a VPN. It is always advisable to choose a private network when accessing the internet, but, if you do not have this option, a VPN serves to encrypt your traffic.
This gesture can prevent a cybercriminal from getting the password of your academic email, blocking your access and downloading the TFG, the doctoral thesis or the comment of the Spanish Language book of this quarter (along with other confidential information).
Avoid phishing and other online threats
Cybersecurity is a team effort, for it to work it needs to involve parents, teachers and students. The introduction of smart devices to classrooms is a fact, especially after the months of pandemic, so the question we must ask ourselves is how they are being used.
Institutional emails are often made available by institutes and colleges. Therefore, it is essential to make children and adolescents aware of the danger of abusive practices such as phishing. That is, identity theft to steal compromised information from users.
Malware is another type of scam that is often spread through emails. Links with malicious content are usually introduced by text full of spelling errors, capital letters and emergency language. For example, “reset your password NOW!*”
Raising awareness of the proper use of social media is also an essential part. Surely your parents have ever told you not to talk to strangers in the park, so why do it from an online profile? Maybe the username corresponds to your real identity, but it could be a fraud.
In the content of the virtual classroom or the emails written by the teacher, attention is often paid to the personal data that are exposed: addresses of other students in the “recipients” section, the DNI in the lists of grades, or photographs of events or academic excursions. If they do not take adequate online security and privacy measures, a hacker could use this data in their blackmail practices.
Related to the previous point, revealing the emails or phone numbers of students can be the beginning of cyberbullying.
The goal of a VPN is to make it harder for hackers, so students should be in a group of regular users. In fact, prywatnoscwsieci VPN’s Threat Protection blocks malicious trackers and ads from harmful websites and files.
Access academic content and resources without limitations
Can my school or university know if I use a VPN? Probably yes, although they will never be able to check what you’re doing online. The institution may write rules against VPN use or that this is not a problem, depending on your particular circumstances. However, it is legal to use a VPN as long as you do not do something online that directly violates the law.
Therefore, in countries with authoritarian regimes or institutes with a strong ideology, students could access articles and content free of censorship if they use a VPN. For example, a medical student at an ultra-religious university who wants to learn about assisted reproduction techniques.
Or bypass geo-restricted content blocking. Imagine that for an academic paper you need to watch, the VPN eliminates borders. And the same goes for American magazine publications or foreign press articles, access information no matter what country you are residing in.
Cybersecurity is already a race
At the beginning of June 2022, the University of Malaga (UMA) announced that in the 2023/2024 academic year, 65 students will be able to enroll in the first Degree in Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence in Spain. Until now, it was part of a university specialty or Higher Level Training Cycles (CFGS).
Most educators recognize the usefulness of new technologies in teaching, both in primary school or in universities. However, in Spain there is a certain generational gap related to cybersecurity and the management of electronic devices. In many centers, equipment is provided free of charge or loaned, but privacy or online security policies are not clear or uniform.
Do not wait for the UBAU (former Selectivity) to start learning everything about online security and privacy. Ask your secondary school if it is possible to install software that protects your device online. And, if you’re a teacher or parent of a child, raise these issues at the next school meeting.
Passwords are yours alone
For each online profile, you need a password. Don’t repeat the same keys or change just the final letter. Strong passwords are essential to protect the personal information you share on the network, as well as the files you upload. Includes uppercase, lowercase, and special characters.
The longer it is, the better. Of course, another tip to remember is to think about something that is not personal. Choosing the name of your childhood pet or the beach where you spend the summer every year, does not seem too safe..