Some of the scenarios which are listed here need to exemplified in order to be better understood as to why online privacy is critical for students:
Threat of being bullied
Social media is popular as a communication channel for students when it comes to expressing their inner self. They feel a sense of freedom while expressing themselves to others over the internet, especially on social media.
The problem does not lie in the usage of social media, but the way students normally behave and react over it. Figures indicate that about 70% of all students report either observing or experiencing cyber bullying online.
This fact is more worrying as students tend to express themselves too much on social media, thus, making them prone to identity theft, since their personal data, like birthday, age, location etc., can be shared to complete strangers or even hackers.
Students need to realize that the behavior they have adopted of sharing stuff on social media can haunt them later in their lives.
Given the fact that cyber bullies are hard to track down and apprehend, students can be taught the etiquettes of how they should use social media. They need to learn regarding how they can report cyber bullying and avoid identity theft.
Desire for Unwanted Attention
Students in this digital age crave for extra attention in their social circle, so they can feel important and praise worthy. However, this compromises the privacy aspect of their life, since it forces them to share each and every important moment of their life on social media.
Unwary of the fact that social media is also used by cybercriminals and terrorists, students fall prey to cybercriminals, who are always looking for people whereabouts and their personal information making it easy for them to carry out their heinous crimes.
Students in this scenario should keep their belts tight and hopes low as not everyone can become a celebrity on social media. The private information should be kept private as well as secure and the circle to which it is shared should be kept on a strict watch.
Using Free Wi-Fi facilities
As the digital age progresses, more and more advancements are made contributing to the convenience of students, and institutions are welcoming these changes for the betterment of the society. One of them is the free Wi-Fi hotspots or the ones shared by your friends.
But, there is a dark side to this convenience which haunts many. The hacking attempts on free Wi-Fi hotspots are on the rise and educational institutions are no exception as these free Wi-Fi hotspots are often unencrypted and extremely dangerous, even if there is a password in place which is restricting access to that network.
Another aspect which is quite disturbing is the tracking of Students’ online activities by the institutions. For instance, Australian Universities Tracked Students’ Activities possibly through the facility’s own Wi-Fi networks and snooping their social media profiles.
The best thing for students to do while opting to use a free Wi-Fi network is to either use data packages provided by cellular network providers or consider investing in a reliable and premium VPN service which can ensure complete security on the network by encrypting their sessions, keeping students safe from spoofing eyes.
The factors mentioned above are only some of the most grueling facts which need to be considered if students are to be made aware of online privacy and security and what preventive measures need to be taken by them to avoid the threats associated with the use of technology.
Guest article written by: Waqas Khan (Twitter: @Waqas_tweets) is a Tech wiz and privacy enthusiast who covers a variety of issues related to the world of online privacy and security. He is a gadget enthusiast who loves traveling to interesting places around the world.