• International Students

How To Protect Your Cybersecurity As An International Student

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  • read time3 min Read
  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Jan 13,2024 05:26 PM IST

In today's interconnected world, safeguarding cybersecurity is paramount, especially as an international student. This blog provides essential insights into protecting students while studying abroad. It highlights the significance of strong passwords, regular software updates, and cautious use of public Wi-Fi to prevent data breaches. By following these practical tips and remaining vigilant online, international students can significantly reduce the risks associated with cyber threats, ensuring a safe and secure study experience abroad.

How to Protect Your Cybersecurity as an International Student.webp
In this digital age, the risks associated with cyber threats are significant, making protecting personal information and digital assets proactively imperative. This article aims to illuminate crucial tactics and methods that international students can embrace to strengthen their cybersecurity protocols during their educational pursuits abroad. Covering aspects such as grasping the importance of robust passwords, employing secure networks, identifying phishing attempts, and cultivating safe online habits, our guidance aims to equip students with actionable advice and suggestions for safely manoeuvring the digital sphere.

The intention is to empower students with practical knowledge, enabling them to enhance their digital security measures while pursuing education overseas. Read this article to learn why cybersecurity awareness is essential and how international students can protect themselves from cyber-attacks while studying abroad.

Types of Cyber Attacks

Stepping into a new academic landscape abroad brings exciting opportunities and requires vigilance towards unforeseen digital challenges

Cybersecurity awareness becomes crucial to shield students from various cyber threats. Here are some key types of cyber-attacks international students should be wary of:

types of cyber attacks.webp

Why Cybersecurity Awareness Is Important

Stepping into the vibrant tapestry of studying abroad as an international student can be exhilarating, but it also exposes them to a new landscape of digital risks. Cybersecurity awareness becomes an essential shield for students, which protects their academic journey and their entire overseas experience. Let's understand the importance of cyber security for students through the following pointers.

Vulnerability amplifiedStepping foot in a new country means navigating unfamiliar tech ecosystems and public Wi-Fi networks, ripe hunting grounds for malicious actors. Moreover, international students are prime targets for financial scams and phishing attacks, aiming to exploit unfamiliarity with local regulations and vulnerabilities.
Threats lurking in the shadowsData breaches can easily expose students' personal information, from passport details to academic transcripts, jeopardizing their identity and immigration status. Cyberbullying and harassment add another layer of potential harm, with online predators preying on isolation and cultural differences.
The domino effect of cyberattacksThe consequences of falling victim to these threats can be far-reaching and disruptive. Financial losses are a significant concern, as identity theft, unauthorized transactions, and well-crafted scams can drain students' study abroad budgets. Academic disruption looms large, with compromised data leading to lost assignments, jeopardized grades, and potential delays in their studies. Perhaps most detrimental is the emotional distress that cyberbullying and harassment can inflict, impacting students' mental well-being and overall student experience.

When Students Discard or Sell Old Devices Without Wiping Them Clean

Suppose students get rid of their computer or mobile without wiping their data. In that case, the new owner may be able to access texts, social media accounts, photos, texts or contacts of students. Whether students plan to throw, recycle, or resell their old phones, they must take the following steps to erase their data permanently.

Overwrite DataUse specialized software or tools designed for secure data erasure. These programs overwrite the data multiple times with random patterns, making it extremely difficult to recover.
Encrypt Data Before DeletingIf physical destruction isn't feasible, encrypt it before deleting it. This makes it unreadable even if it's recovered. Use robust encryption tools like Vera Crypt or BitLocker.
Utilize Specialized Data Erasure ServicesConsider professional data erasure services for large-scale or highly sensitive data. They possess advanced techniques and certifications for secure data destruction.

Best Ways Students Can Protect Themselves from Cyber-Attacks. 

In an age where technology plays an integral role in academia, students must be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their digital presence against potential cyber threats. Understanding the vulnerabilities and adopting preventive measures can significantly mitigate risks. Cyber security is one of the 7 Essential Skills to Acquire when Studying Abroad. Here are some crucial points to consider:

Best Ways Students Can Protect Themselves from Cyber-Attacks.webp

Create Strong PasswordsAvoid sequential numbers or letters like "1234" or "abcd." Hackers love these easy patterns. Steer clear of overused passwords like "password123" or "iloveyou." These are the first things they try. Don't include birth year, month, or day in the password. It's personal information hackers can easily find online.
Learn to Identify Scams"Financial aid can be a lifeline for international students, but it's also a magnet for scammers. Students must watch out for unbelievable guarantees, excessive personal data requests, and pressure tactics to push them into quick decisions. Remember, legitimate opportunities offer transparency and support, not threats and urgency. "Phishing emails, fake websites, and even phone calls – scammers love to wear different masks. Be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. Students must cross-check information, verify sources, and trust their gut instinct – it's usually right."
Protect Personal Identifiable InformationStudents can protect their personal identifiable information by avoiding oversharing personal details like date of birth, address, travel plans, etc. They must not access sensitive information like bank accounts or online portals on public Wi-Fi networks. They must only share the PII required for university applications and official communication.
Device DefenceInstall antivirus and anti-malware software on laptop and phone. Keep them updated with the latest security patches. Only download apps from trusted sources like official app stores. Be cautious of clicking unknown links or installing free software with excessive permissions. Regularly back up important documents and files in a secure cloud storage service or on an external hard drive.
Don't Flaunt Expensive DevicesStudents must not tell if they have expensive gadgets like computers and mobile phones. Cybercriminals are always searching for these students who care less about hiding their devices. Also, students must ensure that they install Find My Service on their Apple devices so that even in the worst cases, they can recover their devices or at least prevent thieves from reselling them. 


Those were some of the study abroad safety tips for students that they can use to protect their cyber security. 

FAQ

Cyber security is important for students because they can be targets of cybercriminals. 
The ripple effects of a cyberattack on an educational institution can extend far beyond the campus walls. Stolen data can lead to identity theft, financial scams, and even physical harm to students, faculty, and staff.
There are various types of cyber security attacks, such as Malware Attacks, Phishing Attacks, Password Attacks and Crypto jacking.
Students can protect themselves from cyber-attacks by creating strong passwords and protecting their personally identifiable information.
Students can stay cyber-safe when travelling by avoiding using public Wi-Fi and updating their devices.

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