As a student, you often find yourself looking for ways to make ends meet and earn something extra on the side. Due to the global lockdown, looking for work online seems to be the best bet to score a side-gig right now. When you’re applying for jobs online, you may be asked to submit your personal ID or other personally-identifiable documents. But if you’re not careful, you could find yourself submitting sensitive personal information to an illegitimate website or having it intercepted before it reaches its intended recipient.
To prevent this from happening, do yourself a favour, and follow the tips below to stay safe.
1. Be extra careful when connected to free Wi-Fi networks
The thought of getting some work done while eating out sounds appealing, but there’s a catch. Free Wi-Fi networks that can be found at various coffee shops are not the safest to use. With the right tools, even a complete amateur could be listening in on everything you send and receive while being connected through one of these. Without a UK VPN, it’s not recommended to login to your UK bank accounts or send any sensitive information whatsoever, lest you risk having it intercepted. Click here for more information: https://nordvpn.com/servers/uk/
2. Never forget the importance of a strong and unique password
Your email account and personal messaging services are a treasure trove of data that any hacker would be glad to go through, given the opportunity. If your password is simplistic in nature, they can break through it. So make sure to include at least one number, capital letter, and special symbol in it. Furthermore, don’t allow yourself to re-use the same password everywhere around the web. Otherwise, hacking into one of your accounts will be all it takes to compromise the rest. To avoid all of these unique passwords being too heavy on your memory, a password manager is all you need.
3. Set your social media to private and mind what you share
Far too often, it happens that people are too liberal with what they share on social media. They fail to realize that not everyone who’s following them has their best intentions at heart, and sending sensitive information into the wrong hands can result in disaster. Imagine having your personal number leaked through one of these channels. Later on, the very same number could be used to overtake one of your accounts with the help of social engineering and other manipulative tactics hackers resort to.
4. Make regular backups
Hackers are not the only force you should be shielding yourself against. What if your hardware fails you, and you can no longer recover your files? Although hard drive failure rates are not staggering high, this can still happen, so don’t ever find yourself without a backup. At the same time, regular backups are also a life-saver if you accidentally delete something from your local machine or cloud storage. Last but not least, having everything backed up allows you to worry less if your laptop gets stolen. That way, you’ll only have to deal with material damage without data loss on top of it.
5. Refrain from clicking on attachments from unknown senders
As innocent as it may look, you never know what’s inside the attachment you’ve received via email. For all you know, it could be bundled with malware, keyloggers, or other unwanted software. Things like incorrectly spelt domain names or a message crafted with a dire sense of urgency are often signs that something is amiss. So be sure to double-check the sender’s address and don’t open any attachments without scanning them first. If someone sends you a link, don’t click on it and manually type it in the URL field of your browser instead (that way, you’ll avoid being lured to a fake website). Websites like Genode scrape any website in seconds, running millions of rotating residential proxies in the background.
The internet is a place brimming with opportunities, but it does come with its fair share of pitfalls. By taking all the measures necessary to protect your data, you’ll have one less reason to worry about something happening to it.
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