How to make sure your home learning environment is cybersecure
Depending on your attitude towards education, going to school or university from home can be a real gift or a curse. And while sitting at your computer, home learning has both advantages and disadvantages, one thing is for sure: you need to make sure that you and your devices are computer safe.
Education is big business, and educational institutions hold an enormous amount of sensitive data – from personal information of staff and students, to financial data, to top-secret lab results. And having so much sensitive data online makes it a target for, say, unethical online actors (read: hackers).
Don’t compromise your or your institution’s data while learning at home. Here’s how to make sure you’re safe.
Protect your devices (yes, all of them!)
The easiest and easiest way to have peace of mind while browsing is to have up-to-date cybersecurity software. At the very least, you should have basic antivirus to stay protected against malware, adware, and spyware. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is a great example of basic, no-frills antivirus software that keeps you safe.
For tech-savvy students, basic antivirus is probably sufficient. However, if you really want comprehensive protection without really needing to think too much, you can also go for a full security suite like Bitdefender Total security. Security suites cost a bit more, but come with a range of features useful for a home learning environment, such as camera and microphone protection, firewalls, or spam filters.
You need to protect all of your devices, including laptops and smartphones, and most of these cybersecurity products allow you to protect multiple devices in one integrated product. It’s not a bad idea to combine forces with friends or roommates on something like Bitdefender Family Pack, which protects 15 devices on all operating systems.
Be proactive with your security
Even with cybersecurity software, it’s still important to be proactive in protecting your devices. Regularly scan your devices for malware and check for vulnerabilities in your network. This free home scanner tool Finds dangerous devices and passwords on your home network and offers detailed security recommendations.
Make sure you are digital literate and mindful of your own business. Regularly update and restart your devices, change your passwords, and avoid public wi-fi (and if you must, be careful using apps with personal data).
Finally, it is imperative to stay informed of trends in the world of cybersecurity. Recognize things like phishing scams, and keep in mind that hackers and scammers are adapting to new technologies. The PCMag security page is a great resource, as is this IoT Security Insights Blog. Be careful!