Back to school internet security: Off to college!

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As your son or daughter heads off to college, they’re packing a smartphone, and undoubtedly one or more other devices such as a laptop or tablet that are essential to getting their schoolwork done. They’re probably more tech-savvy about those devices than you are.

But their knowledge can’t prevent misfortune happening when they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. So as they head off to college, here’s a checklist to make sure all bases are covered.

  • Protect their schoolwork. Big projects like term papers take hours of effort, but a ransomware attack or drive failure can wipe them out in seconds. Invest in a removable drive, high-capacity USB stick or online backup service.
  • Install security software. Your college-aged students are financial adults, with bank accounts, charge cards and social security numbers for cyber-thieves to target. Full-featured security software can look out for them, and relieve a ton of worry for you. 
  • Secure Macs, iPhones and iPads, too. Apple users used to think their devices are inherently safe. It’s true that there are fewer threats targeting those platforms, but that doesn’t mean there are none. Apple has released major patches to close vulnerabilities in its operating systems.
  • Keep tabs on their stuff. Smartphones are small and easily left behind. Leave a laptop in the library for a short bathroom break and it might disappear.  Theft-protection software senses the device’s location and allows them to quickly find their misplaced phone, tablet or laptop through an online portal.
  • Guard the webcams. They’re sharing a network with mischievous college students and it’s possible to install software that can take control of a webcam. Remind them to keep their camera covered, and spare them from embarrassment—or worse.

What’s the best way to protect them? Send them off to college with a care package that includes security software for all their devices.

Right now, you can take advantage of our timely back-to-school offer. Get major savings with 50 percent off ESET Internet Security that protects multiple devices with malware protection, webcam control, and extra security for financial transactions. Or, step up to ESET Smart Security Premium which adds data encryption and password management tools.