The pandemic situation is forcing many colleges to think outside the box. Schools have sent their students home and offer online classes for everything. More and more colleges are using online courses and lectures to help their students pursue their education safely.

However, if you are new to distance learning, it can be challenging to build a safe learning environment. While limiting social contacts can protect you from catching coronavirus, it also exposes you to digital threats and risks. The first and most crucial component of safe distance learning is a device you can rely on, such as a laptop or a desktop. It’s not good practice to share devices with flatmates or friends, as you could accidentally spread germs onto the surface. For students who are prone to ask their friends to fix IT problems, it’s not time to step alone into the digital world of safe remote learning.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

College life typically is about looking for smart cost-saving solutions. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for students to rely on public Wi-Fi for all their digital interactions. Even when you’re stuck at home, you may be able to catch the free Wi-Fi from the places nearby, such as a restaurant or a library. Some companies, while they are shut to visitors, still carry on remote business. As such, they may have left their public Wi-Fi on. You might be thinking to yourself that it’s a great opportunity to save money on a broadband contract. However, public Wi-Fi can make you vulnerable to hackers. If you want to carry on using the network, it’s a good idea to use a VPN, which will encrypt your data traffic. Additionally, keep on the safe side of web browsing by sticking to HTTPS websites, as these have a secure connection.

Invest in cybersecurity

You should also look for a cybersecurity tool that can offer additional protection. Indeed, a VPN can protect your network. However, you also want to monitor all access to your data as you may have to rely on unsecured websites for your remote studies. Therefore, a solution that protects your identity and personal information online is a no-brainer. However, comprehensive protection can be expensive. But you might want to check on discounts for LifeLock, as this critical ID safe tool is running a promotional offer for new members. What does identity protection mean for students? It means protecting your finances, the illegal use of your name and social security data, and all transactions.

Keep a clean public image

As you are forced to spend time indoors, social media accounts become your door to the outside world. Social media can be a useful tool to make connections and start your career after college. However, during the period of self-isolation, it’s essential to use social media platforms wisely. Boasting about potentially dangerous gatherings and other activities that might increase the likelihood of virus spread is going to affect your reputation for years to come. Stay safe and sane in your online interactions.

There is no denying that remote learning could help to save lives. As such, if your college is offering the option, do opt for distance courses for the time being. But, as we lean more on digital technologies, we also need to invest in digital safety. Staying safe online is all about managing access to your data and protecting your name.

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