Ohio University

Student Security Tips

College students spend a lot of time online. Whether you're doing homework, scrolling through social media, or checking emails, online dangers lurk everywhere. With bad actors constantly searching for new ways to gain access to personal and financial information, security is everyone's responsibility. Keeping your personal information safe is crucial. Follow these student security tips to ensure your information stays protected.

Protecting OHIO Information

  • Enroll your OHIO account in Multi-Factor Authentication. Multi-factor authentication is a second layer of security. When someone tries to log into your account, it sends a notification to your phone to verify it's you. Make sure to select "all eligible services" for the most protection available.
  • Sign up for Online IT Security Training. IT Security Training is a 90 minute module that teaches you how to identify threats online. To sign up, email security@ohio.edu with your name and email address. 
  • Limit using your OHIO email for subscriptions. In today's world, data leaks and exposures are a regular occurrence. Limiting the services you give your OHIO email to makes it less likely it will get leaked in a data breach.
  • Don't fall victim to "Part-time Job Offers" and other phishing emails. It is common for hackers to send phishing emails. If you receive an email that says you can make $300 a week to pet sit or work remotely, it is not real. Mark messages like this as junk and delete them from your inbox.

Protecting Other Personal Information

  • Use different, strong passwords for all services. Using different passwords, especially for work, education, and bank accounts, prevents hackers from accessing your personal information. If the same password is used for everything, and your password gets leaked, all your accounts are compromised. Always use strong passwords.
  • Choose your security questions carefully. Use questions that only you know the answer to. Avoid using information that can be found on services like Facebook (i.e. mothers maiden name.)
  • Avoid online surveys and quizzes. This includes Facebook statuses asking about your partner, siblings, and yourself. The more you put online, the easier it is to gather information about you from afar. 
  • Avoid sharing your location on social media sites. Apps like SnapChat have tracking services for your friends to see where you are at all times. Make sure services like these are turned off. Also, avoid putting your location on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Ensure your smartphone has appropriate security settings. Cell phones often contain more information that any other device. Check out Smartphone Security for tips on how to keep your phone secure.
  • Enable Multi-factor authentication for every account possible. If a service offers Multi-factor authentication, sign up. Every online account is better protected with multi-factor authentication.
  • Don't share private information over the phone. Phishing over the phone is common. Do not answer numbers you don't recognize, and do not provide personal information over the phone.
  • Install and update antivirus software. Antivirus software identifies and removes viruses from computers. Schedule weekly virus scans and keep your software updated to protect your device from the latest viruses and worms.
  • Only install software from the App Store. It's easy to accidentally install bad software from the internet. Avoid this hazard by using only your device's official App Store. Software on App Stores has been verified to be safe.
  • Be mindful of the software on your computer. When you install software, you give that program access to your computer and the information on it. Don't install something unless it's necessary.
  • Cover your webcam. Hackers are constantly spying and gathering information on unsuspecting people. Cover your webcam and configure services to not have access to it.