Amid a considerable increase in ransomware attacks on higher education, students seem to hold an unrealistic view of the real cost of ransomware in relation to what they are willing to pay, if breached.
An alarming number of students don’t even have a security solution on their devices, found a survey conducted in July by Webroot. As many as 45% of students in the US admitted not being terribly concerned with computer security, and even more are relaxed about mobile devices.
Should they fall victim to ransomware, students claim they would only pay $50, although research shows ransomware payments are normally between $500 and $1,000, and in some cases even $2,000 or higher. The ball is in the hacker’s court because, in the end, you can’t really negotiate with criminals.
It’s quite easy for students, and any user, to stay safe online by following some simple guidelines. First and foremost, invest in a professional security solution. It might seem expensive at first for a student budget, but it will be worth it in the long run because it will safeguard your entire network and prevent you from losing papers, photos or documents to hackers.
Even though you are running a security solution, always back up your data on an external hard drive or in the cloud and make sure the software on your device is always updated. Needless to say, be suspicious of free public networks and don’t make any financial transactions when connected to them. Use strong passwords and never share them with anyone or, worse of all, reuse them for other accounts.