Resist the temptation to play along # class of 2020

We didn’t realize we were making memories; we just knew we were having fun……”   Isn’t that what college life is all about?

The class of 2020 entered college in the late summer of 2016. Now their final weeks at school are in a state of remote learning, social distancing, and mounting dread.

class of 2020 remote graduation
Class of 2020 virtual graduation: Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash

To address the coronavirus pandemic, many colleges and universities have closed their doors and transitioned classes to an online format — a shift that students, professors, administrators, and public health officials agree will play an essential role in limiting the virus’ transmission. Indeed, many college seniors expect there will be no commencement ceremony to memorialize their accomplishments.

The likelihood that graduation ceremonies will be canceled strikes a harsh blow for students who have spent their lives working towards a college degree. The fact that these graduates may be unable to share that moment with their friends and parents can be earth-shattering. For the class of 2020, this was their last chance to say goodbye and make graduation particularly special. This global pandemic has taken that spectacular moment away from these graduates, and many have resorted to sharing this experience virtually online.

#Class of 2020

Family and friends have begun to post old high school senior photos. They are sharing graduation-Esque memories to show support for the class of 2020, many of whom are missing out on the final weeks of their senior year due to the current coronavirus pandemic.  #Class of 2020 is a social media challenge in which people are posting their high school senior portraits in support of this year’s graduating class.

This viral trend has encouraged graduating students to share personal details like graduation year, class photos, and high school names. While the sentiment is sweet, these personal details can be used to infer additional sensitive information, like date of birth and location. Hackers with no grounding morals use this information to gain access to social media accounts, guess security questions on commercial sites, and send “spear-phishing” messages to deceive students into handing over sensitive information. Trends like posting previously owned cars, favorite athletes, and favorite television shows can leave Facebook users vulnerable for the very same reason.   If your social media privacy settings aren’t high, your personal information is extremely vulnerable. 

Privacy Risk

Why are college students prime targets? Whether its fraudulent credit card charges, compromised accounts, or a new line of credit, data theft is a growing problem, and college students are particularly susceptible. According to privacy experts, college students (primarily young adults) tend to be uninformed about how identity theft occurs and the resulting consequences.

credit card privacy risk for college students

Take heed to these priceless social media safety tips and pass them along to those you know and love.

  1. Be selective when it comes to the friends you accept, the information you share, and even the photos that you post.
  2. Be smart about what you decide to share. Sharing too much can open you up to the risk of identity theft and even give away crucial clues to what your passwords may be for your most sensitive accounts.
  3. Be careful what you click.  Every link, application, and advertisement you follow could lead to a potential breach of your privacy.
  4. Set up alerts.  You will be notified if someone tries to log in to your account from a device that Facebook does not recognize.
  5. Review security settings and change security questions.

While these best practices are beneficial, the buck doesn’t stop at social media.  The internet is a vast sea of activity.  It is a technological wonder with endless possibilities, but like any powerful tool, some seek to use it with malicious intent.  That’s why we at Presence have made it our mission to help you control your personal information and eliminate privacy exposures.  Let us monitor your digital footprint, so that you may forge ahead, with peace of mind, into the next chapter of your life. 

Interested in learning more? Learn about the 4 Things Presence Can Do For You and our 10 Tips on How to Better Protect Your Online Data Privacy.

Join the movement #privacyfirst.

Consumer Security Evangelist @ Presence Global.
May 8, 2020 3:03:01 AM

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