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Making Sure College Students Are Safe and Secure with Cyber Security

DALLAS TOWNSHIP--- College students are heading back to school and bringing with them tons of technology. While keeping personal information safe online may be top of mind to some, according to a Pew Research Center study close to 50 percent of college-age people did not know enough about cyber security to make the grade.

Students at Misericordia University said they are constantly attached to their computers for projects, papers, you name it.

Some know enough not to enter in their sensitive information to websites that do not look trustworthy.

“Anything that pops up on my laptop that I have no idea what it is, it's a complete X out,” Sophomore Iana Davis said. “I don't want to read anything about it, I don't want to know the details. If I didn't tell you to pop up on my computer and you pop up, goodbye!”

Other students said they know they should back up their files in case of a hack, but it’s a hassle.

Sophomore Lexie Williard said her hard drive could probably use some use.

“It’s still in the box. I didn’t use it yet,” Williard laughed.

Information technology adjunct professor Joseph Broghamer said technology programmers are largely to blame for this problem.

“The software that's out there commercially could and should be more secure,” Brogahmer said. “The tools are available but a lot of software vendors don't want to invest the time and money and they're afraid that adding security to an operation would make it difficult to use, which is wrong.”

Broghamer said the most important thing students can do is back up their files. They do not want their most valuable information to be vulnerable.

“If it gets crashed or you get this ransomware, your computer gets locked up. You're really in a big problem. You can't tell the professor anymore that your dog ate your paper anymore,” Broghamer said.

He also suggests students check the URL before entering their personal information. He said any secure encrypted connection, which protects your information, will have an https URL as opposed to just http.

Students Newswatch 16 spoke with said all of this has them thinking of signing up to take a cyber security class soon.

“I'll take one. I'd rather be safe than sorry honestly,” Davis said.

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