If you’re like many people, you’ve asked yourself: “Who would want to hack me? There are a lot more lucrative targets out there for cyberthieves, right?”

That’s just the kind of easy attitude cyberthieves are looking to take advantage of — people who are lackadaisical about online security and careless with such hardware as cell phones, tablets and laptops.

“Hackers love it when they hear that someone thinks they can fly under the ‘security radar’,” said Ron Woerner, director of Bellevue University’s cybersecurity programs. “That’s the exact person they want to go after because they’re complacent or not caring about their cybersafety.”

Students running among classes, jobs, social activities and family obligations, can be easy targets. There are a few simple rules and guidelines that can help keep students safe in the cyberworld.

• Under lock and key — Use multifactor authentication.

“Many online sites are now providing multifactor authentication. This allows users to easily secure their accounts with the standby password [something you know] tied to a second factor: something you have [a physical token, chip, fob or phone], something you are [your voice or fingerprint] or somewhere you are [your home location],” Woerner said. “Adding this second factor provides you with added security and will save you the hassle of having to change your password when the security is invariably breached on the site.”

• Look both ways before crossing — or connecting to free Wi-Fi — The network might expose your information to other users or data-gathering software may be built right into the network. Using a virtual private network can help guard against such breaches. There are a lot of free virtual private network (VPN) services available including CyberGhost VPN and VPNBook.

• Lock it up — People generally think of cybercrime as some sort of nefarious software lurking on a website but a lot of it occurs by losing your device. If your phone, tablet or laptop has been stolen, then there goes all the information you’ve stored on it. So keep a watchful eye on your hardware.

• Know when to say when — Don’t be too social on social media. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be a great place to share important life events, but make sure to keep sensitive information off them. Investigate the privacy settings on each site to ensure only your friends can access your postings.

• Install a security suite on all devices — Security software can help you avoid damage or at least keep it to a minimum if you land on a website with evil intent or inadvertently click on a phishing expedition.

These tips should enable you to study safely by making use of tools that are already readily available. — (NAPS)

Contact staff writer

Chanel Hill

at (215) 893-5716 or at chill@phillytrib.com.

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