Common Cyberattacks That Affect Students and How to Prevent Them


Students are more vulnerable to cyberattacks because they often use digital platforms and gadgets for their social interaction and academic work. Many students use their smartphones, tablets, computers, or laptops to access and share instructional data. Some also use these gadgets for social connections. However, some are not keen enough to enhance their cybersecurity, leaving them exposed to cyberattacks. In this regard, let’s look at some common cyberattacks that affect students and how to prevent them.

Malware Attacks

Malware attacks involve using malicious software viruses like spyware to infect a victim’s electronic devices or accounts, exposing them to unauthorized access to personal data, data loss, and system crashes. It causes issues of data breaches because it leads to the loss or leaking of sensitive data or institutional data. Data loss can be a big problem for a student as it can create inconveniences. Imagine if a malware attack led to losing a research paper that you’ve been working on for weeks and was about to turn it in. It would mean rewriting it, which might be impossible if the deadline is near, you fail to submit it, or you’ll have to hire a writer from an academic writing site like EssayUSA to write it for you.

Installing antivirus software to protect your electronic devices against malware attacks is the primary method to stay safe. Some of the best antivirus software in 2024 include Norton 360, Bitdefender, McAfee, TotalAV, and Intego. Also, avoid clicking unsuspicious links or downloading documents from untrusted sources. Moreover, install firewalls to help filter any attack or traffic that may affect your devices.

Phishing Attack

Cybercriminals have developed a strategy of impersonating a trusted contact to request or access sensitive information from students. Many students have been victims of receiving fake emails with malicious links. Victims unaware of phishing often open the fake emails and click on malicious links attached to them, not knowing that attackers are using such links to gain access to their accounts by gaining their login details. Some cybercriminals also use the links to install malware on the victims’ devices.

You can prevent phishing by ignoring fake emails or new emails. You need to scrutinize the emails you receive before replying to them or opening links attached to them. Also, you must protect your computer and passwords by installing security software and enabling regular software updates. It’ll help you in scanning any malicious email or address sent to your online accounts.


Ransomware is a form of malware where cybercriminals use software to hold a device or victim’s data hostage until they are paid a ransom. Students are likely to suffer from such attacks because cybercriminals know that they can threaten them, and they submit to their demands.

Ransomware can be prevented by installing a firewall to prevent unauthorized software from accessing your data or servers. Also, you should ensure that you create strong secret keys and allow multiple-factor authentication to prevent unapproved access to your online accounts or devices.

Password Attack

Most students are prone to experiencing password attacks because they use simple passwords that hackers can easily guess or bypass through different methods. Besides, most students rarely bother creating two or multifactor verification methods to protect their secret keys. Hackers take advantage of such weaknesses to execute brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks, password sniffing, and keylogging.

You can prevent password attacks by enabling a two or multiple-factor verification. It can protect you from password sniffers who install programs on a network and extra login credentials used in a network. Multifactor authentication will require anyone who has access to your password to pass some verification tests, such as providing a code sent to your email or mobile phone before they enter your account. Another method to prevent password attacks is to avoid using of unverified public Wi-Fi. Moreover, buy a portable Wi-Fi that you can use when you are in a public place to log into your class, read essayusa review to find the best paper writer, or do other activities online.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

This form of cyberattack is common in learning institutions. Cybercriminals use it to flood networks with large amounts of data to create an overload that can cause a local server system to crash. For instance, they can use it in colleges to disrupt online learning activities by blocking or destroying data shared online. Normally, cybercriminals use this type of attack to disrupt effective communication between instructors and students.

Distributed denial of service attacks can be prevented by using firewalls to safeguard the ports of attacks. Firewalls can also filter and deny offending IP addresses access to the server system. Colleges can also install intrusion prevention systems to prevent server requests that are not legitimate.

Spoofing Attacks

A spoofing attack involves scammers making malicious websites or identities resembling legitimate ones to win people’s trust. Students are also vulnerable to spoofing attacks as many of them can easily be convinced by attackers who impersonate others or use familiar access identities to gain their confidence, access their portals, and steal sensitive data. Some hackers also go through students’ accounts to access the institution’s accounts and spread malware. Some of the things attackers target are IP addresses, websites, caller IDs, and servers.

Spoofing can be prevented by enabling an authentication method to help determine the source and destination of data. It is done by installing spoofing detection software. Also, allow spam filters to help you keep suspicious emails out of your inbox.

Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks entail using manipulation strategies like sending malicious emails or texts, phishing emails, and creating malicious websites to access a victim’s personal information. Students often use online social platforms that cybercriminals can easily access using such manipulation methods. Cybercriminals also use social engineering attacks to carry out ransomware and spread malware.

You can prevent this type of attack by verifying email senders before opening them, avoiding clicking suspicious links, and using multifactor verification. They are robust ways to safeguard your devices and online accounts from hackers.


Students have become a common target for cyberattacks because they often use digital platforms and gadgets for social interaction and academic work. The various ways cybercriminals use to attack students include social engineering attacks, spoofing attacks, ransomware, malware, phishing, and password attacks. Students must be aware of these attacks and take the necessary precautions to protect their devices and online accounts. The approaches suggested above are effective and can boost cybersecurity tremendously.

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