As students across the state are on their way back to school, many of them will carry cell phones, iPads, iPods, laptops and other electronic devices everywhere from the classroom to the car. Better Business Bureau reminds students and their parents to talk about ways to keep electronics and personal information out of the wrong hands.
College campuses, cafeterias, local hang outs and even classrooms can be an easy target for those looking to “score” expensive electronic devices. Not only can thieves steal your personal property, they could gain access to sensitive information such as emails, text messages, calendars, bank account information, Social Security Numbers photos, and even social media network logins.
“These electronics- and especially the information stored on them- should be treated like a pile of cash,” said Kim States, BBB President. “It’s a significant financial investment that should be protected at all times.”
BBB offers the following advice to students and parents on how to keep personal property and sensitive information safe at school:
- Use password protections. Even if a thief steals your electronic device, having password protections could limit their access to your personal information. Avoid sharing passwords with friends or carrying them around on paper.
- Avoid entering sensitive information into your device on unencrypted public wireless networks. Even novice hackers can download simple programs that allow them to track your movements online when you’re using unprotected wireless networks. If you can avoid it, wait until you can use an encrypted connection to type passwords and other sensitive information into your web browser.
- Use bells and whistles. Depending on your security needs, an alarm can be a useful tool. Some laptop alarms sound when there’s unexpected motion, or when the computer moves outside a specified range around you. Or consider a kind of “lo-jack” for your laptop: a program that reports the location of your stolen laptop once it’s connected to the Internet.
For more consumer tips and news you can trust, visit BBB’s news center at www.tucson.bbb.org