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Computer Safety Tips for College Students

by Employee ‎08-12-2009 10:06 AM - edited ‎08-20-2009 01:24 PM

OffToCollege.JPGIn an era when some say Kindles will replace textbooks and teachers distribute school-issued laptops instead of lined paper, computers are an essential component of higher education.

But that new, gleaming desktop or laptop your son or daughter is taking to college is only as good as the data it stores.  Protecting irreplaceable computer files and systems against identity theft, havoc-wreaking viruses and spyware is often forgotten and only remembered after the data is lost., a public service hosted by the Internet Education Foundation, offers security tips for families that I found helpful.

The guide first suggests purchasing the right software. While some colleges have agreements for licensing rights to provide students with free computer security protection, such as my alma mater Penn State University currently does, not all schools do this.

So, finding a comprehensive security suite with defenses against spam, spyware, viruses InfoSecurity.JPGand phishing is vital.  Verizon’s Internet Security Suite (VISS), winner of the 2009 Global Product Excellence Award for Internet Security Solution by Info Security Products Guide, has tools to fight all of these potential hazards and more. VISS is available at a discount for existing Verizon Internet subscribers; however, non-subscribers can purchase the suite to better secure their irreplaceable data too.

Experts also highly recommend keeping a firewall running at all times to prevent unpermitted messages from your computer, so make sure your college students are equipped with one and keep it switched on. VISS includes a firewall feature to block intrusions, hackers and other hostile access attempts with fully managed, automatically updated customized firewall rules.
Since college students often want to escape the confines of their small dorm rooms and apartments, using the Internet in WiFi, or “hotspots” is popular, but additional steps need to be taken to protect privacy of e-mails, file sharing and other personal information. Earlier this year, VISS announced the addition of WiFi Security and Advance Protection, a new feature that helps protect subscribers against hackers, eavesdroppers and other security threats associated with unsecured wireless networks and hot spots.      

Verizon also offers an Online Backup and Sharing service to preserve vital course papers or digital photos and videos.


Some final tips the site lists are using e-mail filters, creating unique passwords and understanding the risks of peer-to-peer file sharing. It warns that if the computer does become hijacked or infected, to disconnect from the web and take action immediately to prevent further problems.

Whether your daughter or son is off to college for the first time or a returning student, protecting them from the harms of the Web is something that Verizon can help check off the to-do list before leaving for school. 

Message Edited by Eric_Rabe on 08-20-2009 10:24 AM

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