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Students taking unnecessary risks with their online security, says Intel Security survey


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University students are putting themselves in danger by failing to protect their details online, according to new research.

The survey, of 1,027 students and carried out by Intel Security, along with The National Student, found that over half (51.72%) have shared their mobile password with friends, whilst close to that number (46.46%) haven’t installed security software on their phones.

Of those who do have security installed on their phone, 56.81% have updated it in the last year - although 7.57% updated their software between one and two years and and 1.36% up to five years ago. 12.04% can't remember when their security was last updated.

Despite this, more than 90% of students logon to public Wi-Fi in their campuses, bars and clubs, whether it’s secure or not. 

When it comes to protecting potentially expensive gadgets, the news doesn’t get much better – only 12.82% of students took out contents insurance before leaving for university, meaning the vast majority will find themselves in a difficult situation if they lose their possessions or have them stolen.

After arriving on campus, 56.99% of students failed to find out what security policies their university had to keep them safe.

The survey was carried out August 2016.

Not only are students putting themselves at risk from fraud by failing to protect themselves online, but it also appears that they’re not too worried about it. Over half of those surveyed – 51.69% - said that they wouldn’t attend talks about online security even if their university offered them.

Ahead of students starting uni this autumn, Intel Security is encouraging universities to put security education in place. 

Nick Viney, VP Consumer, Intel Security, says: “It's concerning that many (students) are still opening themselves up to risks unknowingly. When it comes to students’ online safety, we all have a responsibility. Not only should parents be educating their children before they fly the nest, but universities too – they should be doing all they can to ensure students understand the security policies at their university.”

He adds: “There are also very simple measures that students can take to keep their work and their data safe.

"For example, students can make the most of special deals on security software, but make sure the links are legitimate before you click on them! And simple solutions, such as investing in security software like McAfee LiveSafe and not clicking on unknown email links, will help to keep work and personal data safe.”

Here are 3 tips from Intel Security on how to stay safe online:

1. Update your anti-virus software often.  Hundreds of viruses are discovered each month, so to make sure that you are protected against the latestbreed of threats, make sure you not only have anti-virus software, but update it frequently. That means downloading the latest virus signature files and the most current version of the scanning engine.

2. Back up your files. If a virus infects your files, at least you can replace them with your backup copy. It's a good idea to store your backup files (on CDs or flash drives) in another secure physical location away from your computer.

3. Click with caution. Offers from sites that seem too good to be true probably are, and can indicate that a site should be viewed with caution. Websites or emails might include phishing links that can lead you to websites that lure you into giving personal information to cybercriminals or download malware to your computer so be careful what you click on and which attachments you open.

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