1. Phishing Scams
College students are easy targets to phishing scams. According to UC Berkeley, "phishing is potentially one of the most damaging internet security issues to our college students." By definition, phishing is a scam by which an e-mail user is duped into revealing personal or confidential account information which can be used illicitly by the scammer. Usually the phishing e-mail will consist of a link to a fake web site that looks identical to the real web site of financial institutions or forged university accounts.
In order to prevent personal data from being 'phished':
• One should be vigilant and cautious. Personal information or passwords should not be given out through email.
• Antivirus software and firewall should be up to date.
• Check the email address to see if it does match the email address of the organization.
• Do not click at the link to go to the organization's web site. Open a new web browser and type in the web address yourself.
• Do not click on links in an email that is believed to be fraudulent as it could be a link to a malicious software auto-download.
• Check the security certificate of any website into which you are entering sensitive data. They should usually begin with 'https://'.
• The internet security department of the college will provide information regarding the kind of recent scams being reported or security advice. It is a smart practice to check with them from time to time.
2. Electronic appliances and accessories to bring to the dorm
Besides the obvious items: laptop, smart phone, alarm clock and chargers, there are other useful electronic appliances and accessories to bring to college.
• Noise-cancelling headphones
• Extension cords and cable ties
• AirPrint or wireless inkjet or laser printer (The difference is explained at http://www.inkjetstar.com/
• Replacement printer ink or laser toner cartridges (The shelf life of unopened ink or laser toner cartridges can be expected to be about 1 year. More information can be found at http://www.inkjetstar.com/
• Back up hard-drive
• E-reader or tablet (More and more textbooks are made available in electronic versions. E-reader or tablet enables students to carry their textbooks around campus easily and study on the go.)
3. A wireless set up in the dorm room
College freshmen usually stay in double or triple rooms where space and internet ports are limited. This requires smart organization. Given the number of devices that may need Wi-Fi connection, a wireless router is essential. The student forum is a good source to find out how the current students are setting up the wireless connection given the specific dorm room situation.
The wireless set-up requires a working, always-on, broadband internet access with a DSL or cable modem, and a wireless/ broadband router with built-in firewall.
4. Lost phone or tablet
Besides being vigilant against theft on campus, it is advisable to be preventive by setting up apps to track location of the devices. Apple offers 'Find My iPhone' app to locate lost iPhone, MacBook, iPod Touch or iPad. For Android phones, free apps like 'Lookout' or 'Avast!' can help locate, remote lock and remote wipe the phone.
5. Cloud storage.
Cloud storage means cyber storage of all media and document files and it is an effective data back-up methodology. An internet hosting service is needed and it allows users to upload files that could then be accessed over the internet from a different computer, tablet, smart phone or networked device. Cloud storage can be expensive. However, there are some free and limited cloud storage services such as CNET, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and Evernote.
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