How to Remain Secure on School Wi-Fi

  

School Wi-Fi is a godsend when you have to catch up with homework or rearrange your notes for an upcoming test or a lecture. What’s even better - many schools and universities offer free internet at blazing speeds. However, despite all the benefits, educational institutions rarely pay mind to cybersecurity and possible attacks.

As a result, students are left vulnerable to cyberattacks due to the unsecured nature of school networks. To protect yourself, you have to take matters into your own hands. With this 5-step guide, you will be able to browse on your school network safely.

Arm your devices with a VPN service

Before you even step foot in unknown Wi-Fi territory, it’s important to get the best possible Windows or Mac VPN. Why is this important? Installing a VPN is essential to your private cybersecurity system because it hides your IP address. To be more specific, it “spoofs” your IP, making it seem like you’re browsing from the other end of the world.

Hackers love to target school Wi-Fi’s and steal data using unsecured IP addresses. A VPN alone isn’t enough, but it’s an excellent start to securing your devices while on school grounds.

Verify the network name

A favorite approach of hackers is to create fake Wi-Fi networks. If you connect to their network, it’s game over for your files, personal data and everything else important to you. To prevent this from happening, take a minute and verify the name of the network.

For example, if your school Wi-Fi is “MichiganState1”, they will create something along the lines of “MichiganState2”. Students in a hurry don’t notice this change and fall into the hackers’ trap. Be smart and always double check.

Turn off automatic connection

Many laptop and smartphone models are designed to automatically connect to any open Wi-Fi network. This is a great feature when you’re entering your home, but it’s important to disable this setting when you’re on school grounds. Hackers love to create open Wi-Fi networks, knowing that students forget to turn off the automatic connection features.

With this setting turned off, you can take all the time you need to verify the validity of an available network. It might take a bit more time to connect manually, but it’s a small price to pay for protecting your personal information and other data.

Avoid simple passwords

If you accidentally connect to a network created by a hacker, they will use advanced software to crack your passwords and access your accounts. To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure that your passwords are as secure as possible. This means no names, surnames, DOBs and other easily predictable information.

An ideal password should be at least 10 characters long (the longer it is, there is less probability to crack each character. The best password you can use is a series of random words in illogical success, e.g. - “horsepotatocapsuledecimate.” Another solution, albeit hard to remember, is combining different characters, e.g. - “7h””1Sj7+++X”.

Use additional cybersecurity tools

It’s unwise to rely on one security measure. Thankfully, there is a plethora of cybersecurity tools that can help you remain secure on school Wi-Fi. Combine a firewall with the best possible antivirus software. Run regular scans and educate yourself on all the features of your software. This gives you the best chance of avoiding data compromise.

Another good idea would be to use a password management tool. With several verification features, including a master password, password managers keep all your passwords secure and in one place. The very best programs have built-in keygens and password diagnostics tools. Use them all to your advantage.

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