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State police offer cyber-security tips for college students

It's a harsh reality for internet users: Criminals are searching for your personal information. (WJAR)

It's a harsh reality for internet users: Criminals are searching for your personal information.

And with students heading off to college this time of year, the Rhode Island State Police and the department of public safety are warning you to make sure your devices are protected.

Rhode Island State Police Capt. John Alfred said mostly, use common sense.

"Make sure you aren't giving out personal information or letting them share a network and think about who you're sharing with," Alfred said. "If you're having a party at your house, you don't want to be sharing personal information with them."

Before you head back, consider this check list for your devices:

  • Security software (Protect yourself with anti-virus software. Many colleges offer free security software to students. It's one of the best ways to keep your device from getting infected
  • Scan USBs/external devices (This protects you from a virus transfer from another device to yours.)
  • Back up important documents (This means, music and photos too for students.
  • Use strong passwords (Don't use the same password for all of your accounts.)
  • Be suspicious of public networks/email links (Don't click just anything!)

Last but not least, online shoppers beware. Don't use your debit card. If your information is stolen money will come directly from your account. Use a credit card where you can monitor the activity and have protection.

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