Photo: Flickr via/Abe Bingham
Internet security is one of the hottest topics in personal finance today, as identity theft among consumers remains a fast-growing crime.Using data gleaned from more than one billion web-enabled devices (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc), fraud prevention firm iovation analysed the rate of fraud at what are probably the most connected places in the world: University campuses.
With countless WiFi hotspots and campus-wide Internet access, it’s no wonder fraudsters would be interested in tapping colleges for unwitting victims. Fortunately, the overall rate of fraud was pretty low, at 0.8 per cent. The data was compiled over a six-month period and analysed transactions like credit applications and run-of-the-mill shopping.
In the report, iovation categorized fraud as unauthorised credit card use, stolen credit or debit cards, spamming, account hijacking, and online auction schemes, among other typical scenarios.
Here are 10 universities iovation deemed the safest places to access the Web, with a low 0.18 per cent rate of fraud:
1. University of California, San Francisco
2. Columbia University
3. Cornell University
4. University of Texas
5. University of Chicago
6. University of California, Los Angeles
7. Northwestern University
8. Texas A&M University
9. University of Utah
10. University of Virginia
Whether you’re on campus or at a cafe prowling the web, remember there are only a couple of ways to be sure you’re surfing from a secure site: Look for the “padlock” icon somewhere near the top of your browser and the magic ‘s’ in “https.”
“Protecting yourself doesn’t have to be complicated, and if you have a layer of security software on your computer that’s so thick you can barely use the system without it slowing down, it’s time to take a look at the products you’re using and see if you can find more lightweight options,” writes LifeHacker’s Alan Henry. “They’re out there, you just have to try a few and pick one that works best for you.”