Getting back to school? Let’s talk about staying safe!

Geoff Thomas
Director, Marketing

Whether you’re a student, or the parent of a student, back to school season is an exciting part of the year. As our students smell the fresh pages of new textbooks and get ready to dust off their lecture notes, we wanted to take a moment to remind everyone about an important aspect of back-to-school prep that’s often overlooked: securing your identity.

No matter what stage of education you’re in, from kindergartners playing their first educational games online to doctoral candidates doing deep-dive research, your identity can be at risk. But it’s our college and university students who should be most concerned. According to one report, college and university students are four times more likely to be victims of “familiar” fraud – being victimized by someone you know – than the general population.*

While identity theft may seem like the plot of a cyber-thriller, it’s all too real and, unfortunately, commonplace. Anyone can fall victim—even while you’re cozily browsing on your dorm’s Wi-Fi or tossing away bank statements. But unlike a lousy grade on that calculus paper, identity theft can stick onto your life and truly harm your future—with long-lasting impacts on your credit score and reputation.


"But hey, I've got a lot of books and exams to deal with!"

We get it. But protecting your identity doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. Armed with some actionable tips, you can minimize your risk:

  • Password Power: Make your passwords as diverse as this year’s reading list. Mix upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols or use a passphrase. Simple passwords might be easy to remember, but they can also be easy to guess for people who know you. While you’re at it – be careful who you share your passwords with and make sure you use different passwords for each of your online accounts to limit what information your friends might access.
  • Wi-Fi Wisdom: We know—free public Wi-Fi is a godsend. But it’s also a hunting ground for cybercriminals. Stick to secure networks, or use a VPN, and make identity theft the exception, not the norm.
  • Shred, Don’t Spread: Those financial papers lingering around in your dorm room? Don’t give any dumpster diver a field day. Keep them in a secure location and be sure to shred before you throw.
  • Keep an Eye Out: Monitor your bank and credit card accounts like you do your Instagram feed. Spot anything odd? Get it checked out ASAP.
  • Antivirus, Always: Equip your digital tools with antivirus software in the same way you’d charge them for a long study session. Consider it the online equivalent of a flu shot.

Your digital identity deserves as much attention and care as your GPA. Equip yourself with these proactive steps and show the cyber world you’re ready to fight against identity theft.

Remember to stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay safe.


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