Attackers often target young people because they are easy to digitally find, less likely to monitor data sources like credit reports, and less likely to report scams. It's important to stay vigilant and understand that your personal information is valuable and can be used for identity theft, credit card fraud, and extortion. Only you can be responsible for your online habits. See the security tips below.
Security tips students should be familiar with:
Always Opt for MFA
Use multi-factor authentication for your accounts. Most accounts, like banking, social media, etc., make it available. If it's available, use it. It requires something you know (i.e., password) and something you have (i.e., code sent to your cell phone), making it harder for attackers to pretend to be you and access your account.
Learn more about Vanderbilt's MFA here.
Avoid Oversharing on Social Media
Sharing too much on social media can put you at risk. Attackers can use your likes and interests to harm you and even fake your identity using the information you share online. Be cautious about what you share.
- Don't reveal personal information.
- Avoid online polls and quizzes.
- Change your profile privacy settings to only allow your contacts or friends to see your updates.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi
It's important to exercise caution when using public Wi-Fi, as it can be a prime target for hackers. To stay safe, it's best to use secure, password-protected networks or rely on your phone's cellular data instead. And consider a VPN solution when on public Wi-Fi.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Young and inexperienced individuals are at greater risk of being exploited financially. Scammers use various phishing methods, including email, phone calls, texts, and fake websites. Beware of domain names that are similar to popular sites. Look up questionable email addresses and websites to ensure they're legitimate.
Please stay vigilant and report suspicious activity.
You can learn more about student scams and avoidance tips here.
Learn About Copyright Infringment
It is important to obtain permission before using the work of others. This responsibility falls on the individual seeking to use the work.
Remember, sharing or downloading unlicensed content like music, movies, or video games is illegal and can harm your device with malware. Stick to licensed platforms to avoid these risks.
Copyright infringement can result in fines ranging from $750 to $150,000 per work infringed. Avoid it.
Below is a curated view of available security policies, services, and guidance documents that are directly relevant to students. These resources can be found in other sections of this site, but have been organized here for your consolidated view. For full listings, use the navigation bar at the top of this page.
Not sure how to start?
Get in touch if you don’t know where to begin, you can’t find the guidance needed on the website, or if you just want to learn more. The Office of Cybersecurity has subject matter expertise and is here for Vanderbilt community to discuss security questions or concerns.