Half of all students in the UK have no security software installed on any of their devices, even though a quarter of teenagers are ‘almost constantly' connected.
New research from Intel Security shows that students do want to keep themselves and their data safe. If offered, 48 percent of students would attend university seminars on data security and how to protect themselves online.
The survey studied 1,000 UK-based students between the ages of 18 and 22.
The research further discloses that over 90 percent of students log on to public Wi-Fi, whether it's secure or not. Students are unknowingly opening the door to possible data breaches and viruses in their campuses, bars and clubs.
The consequences of devices becoming infected can have a real and unfortunate impact. Imogen Clerey, a student who attended University of Leeds said, “I didn't have any security software installed and am always clicking on links to articles, videos and online shops that look interesting. As a result, my laptop became completely infected and stopped working. The repair shop couldn't do anything to recover the majority of files on my hard drive and I ended up losing close to two years' worth of work! All I can say is – protect your laptop, back up your work and be careful what you click on.”
“The fact that students are eager to learn about data security is a step in the right direction. Yet it's concerning that many 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,” said Nick Viney, VP consumer, Intel Security.
Intel Security recommends these tips to students:
Update your anti-virus software often: Download the latest virus signature files and the most current version of the scanning engine.
Back up your files: Store your backup files (on CDs or flash drives) in another secure physical location away from your computer.
Click with caution: Be careful what you click on and which attachments you open. If offers from sites seem too good to be true, they probably are.