In this 24/7 digital world, sending a son or daughter off to college can be a daunting task. Of course, parents want to do everything possible to prepare their children for a successful transition. Previous generations didn’t need to have “the digital talk” but in a world where what goes online stays online, it’s essential.
iovation, the trusted source for mobile and online fraud prevention to safeguard businesses, is providing eight digital safety tips for college-bound kids as part of its dedication to making the Internet a safer place for everyone.
“We understand how sophisticated fraudsters can be and everyone at iovation works hard to stop schemes that negatively impact businesses and consumers,” said CEO Greg Pierson. “As a company focused on stopping online fraud, and as parents, we strongly recommend talking about online safety early and often. The transition to college is a great time to remind young people to be careful and stay safe online.”
Here are the top eight tips to keep your college-bound teenager safe online.
1. The Internet is forever—think about future employers, including those coveted summer internships
Don’t post anything online, including inappropriate photos, which would make a future employer think twice about hiring you. Good judgment is something employers look for, show that you have it.
2. Don’t add your address to your Facebook profile
Keep your address private. Anyone who needs your address can get it from you directly.
3. Don’t broadcast your location
Go ahead and check-in at your favorite coffee place and post photos of you and friends at a concert. Just do it sparingly. People don’t need to know where you are all the time or when your dorm room or apartment might be empty.
4. Don’t “friend” people you don’t know
Be choosy when it comes to friending people on social media. Just because someone sends you a friend request doesn’t mean you have to accept it—especially if you have no idea who they are.
5. Guard your social security number
Your social security number is a winning lottery ticket to a fraudster. It is the key to stealing your identity and taking over your accounts. Keep your social security card locked away in a safe place. Memorize the number so you can minimize using the card itself. Question anyone who asks for your social security card. Employers, banks, credit card companies and the department of motor vehicles are some of the few legitimate entities who may need your social security number. Never give it out online or in email.
6. Don’t use the same password everywhere
All your accounts need a password, but not the same one. Consider using an all-in-one password manager. If you choose this option make sure that you log out of the service when not in use. Get in the habit of locking your computer and shutting it off at night.
7. Beware of emails phishing for personal information
Be very wary of any email with a link that asks you to disclose your credit card details, username, password or social security number. These emails can look official but no bank, or other legitimate business, should email asking for this information.
8. Be Wi-Fi savvy and safe
Free Wi-Fi at coffee shops, libraries and restaurants make these great places to hang out and study. However, free comes at the cost of security. Unsecured networks create the risk of identity theft and other personal information being stolen. Make sure sites you visit use encryption software (website addresses start with https:// and usually display a lock in the browser address bar) to block identity thieves when using public Wi-Fi. Additionally, be careful to avoid using mobile apps that require credit card data or personal information on public Wi-Fi as there is no visible indicator of whether the app uses encryption. In general it’s best to conduct sensitive transactions on a secured private network or through your phone’s data network rather than public Wi-Fi.
Your college-bound teenager is more connected to their friends, and the world, through devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops, than any generation before. Every day they like, tweet, text and share. As long as they use common sense and take a few precautions, their online world can be a safe one that provides value.
iovation protects online businesses and their end users against fraud and abuse through a combination of advanced device identification, shared device reputation and real-time risk evaluation. More than 3,000 fraud managers representing global retail, financial services, insurance, social network, gaming and other companies leverage iovation’s database of Internet devices and the relationships between them to determine the level of risk associated with online transactions. The company’s device reputation database is the world’s largest, used to protect more than 10 million transactions and stop an average of 200,000 fraudulent activities every day. The world’s foremost fraud experts share intelligence, cybercrime tips and online fraud prevention techniques in iovation’s Fraud Force Community, an exclusive virtual crime-fighting network. For more information, visit www.iovation.com.