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College Students Fear Their Privacy Might Be Invaded

Loredana BOTEZATU

September 11, 2013

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College Students Fear Their Privacy Might Be Invaded

US and UK students are afraid their online privacy is invaded by school officials, and they worry about various e-threats that might affect the security of their private data, according to a survey by AnchorFree, an online privacy and security firm.

“College students all over the world tend to be among the most mobile and digitally connected,” said David Gorodyansky, CEO of AnchorFree, as cited by ZDNet. “On top of that they are more frequently targets of online hackers and identity thieves because of their limited credit and employment histories. It is critical that they take control of their personal information online.”

A survey involving 1,200 students from 523 colleges and universities in the US and UK showed that four out of five students worry about school and college officials going through their private online information but merely one in five actually do something about this and take measures to protect what they consider private.

The study also revealed that 80 percent of the students fear for their privacy, but only 8 percent would consider limiting the amount of information they share with their friends. Some 27 percent of the respondents would however keep their information private and away from the eyes of both strangers and friends.

One third of the responders think that their schools block access to social media platforms, video streaming and file-sharing websites. When asked about their professional future, 68 percent of the interviewed students think that some of the images, videos and messages posted on social media might have a negative impact on their relationship with future employers.

Despite their concerns, few would take proactive measures to defend themselves against such privacy invaders and keep their personal data private. Some students have nonetheless good security habits: 41 percent use a password locker, 85 percent shield their computers with an anti-virus and 35 percent protect their mobile devices with a dedicated anti-virus solution.

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