Archive for January 7th, 2019

Tips for colleges to safeguard students from cyber attacks

January 7th, 2019

BY SAMANTHA BROWN

Which are the entities according to you that suffer from the biggest Cybersecurity threats in modern times? Brace up for a shocking revelation! It is SCHOOLS. It is not unknown that all individuals associated with a school – be it teachers or students, use the computer, or most precisely the internet on a regular basis, in heavy frequencies. When a security breach occurs on a school or college network, it can be with the intent of extracting sensitive information, or many a times can be just to disrupt the operation of critical academic processes.

It took a while for schools and colleges to realize and accept that they are potential targets of cyber criminals. And now when they did, it’s about time to come up with robust strategies to safeguard valuable assets which are probably the earnings of someone’s lifelong hard work.

You as students are in maximum danger if there is a cyber attack. Hence, it is important that you realize the gravity of the situation, urge your school to take actions and do your bit to keep and stay cyber safe at all times.

Here are a few guidelines that would help you combat cyber attackers…

  • Don’t ever try to download media that’s free and unknown from your college network

When you download torrents or stream videos online, you expose your computer to loads of suspicious malware and harmful viruses. There are certain Trojan-viruses, which are capable of recording every single move of yours, on the computer – which would obviously include all the user IDs and passwords you enter. By avoiding sites that promote piracy and content that’s illegal, you would be able to keep a lot of attackers away.

 

  • Avoid saving your payment details online

Whenever you make any online purchase, the e-commerce websites always give you the option of saving your transaction or card details for a faster checkout in future. Although it seems like a great option, it’s advisable not to opt for it, especially if you are using your college systems, even if you are making purchases from the big and reliable brands. Attackers are always on a lookout for this stored information. And if they catch hold of it, that would be it.

 

  • Avoid using public cloud based services

Cloud based technologies like One Drive and Dropbox although are great tools for students to share notes and projects, open up new avenues for attackers to access your network and your personal information. So, if your college authorities refrain you from using these medium, cooperate with them as a short term gain might cause you a long term pain. Also, avoid using external devices like SD cards and memory sticks as much as possible.

There are certain policies which can only be implemented by the institution’s authorities. So student associations are advised to request their institutions to implement policies such as the following:

  • Maintain a discretion in terms of providing access

Segregate profiles, and offer access to critical information only to individuals who genuinely need it. Ensure that one username and password should not provide access to all nooks and corners. Also, control the kinds of information that users can copy, download or share via email from institution portals.

 

  • Enforce updated technological barriers

Ensure that all the systems being used within the premises of the institution, or the ones which are provided by the institute to access sensitive information, is well protected b y anti-virus software, upgraded firewalls and other security tools.

 

  • Take the authentication process seriously

When it comes to accessing crucial and private information, implement a structure which requires multi-level authentication.

 

  • Invest on the encryption tools

You have to be far sighted and be prepared to give a tough fight to the cyber criminals right till the very end. They might be able to extract the information, but then what? It’s of no use to them unless they can read the information. Here’s where data encryption comes into play. Use the best possible tools for encrypting all data, including those which you think aren’t too valuable.

While these are the small yet significant everyday measures teachers, students and authorities should take to safeguard themselves, there are also some serious protections that need to be implemented.One such preventive step is opting for a cyber insurance policy.Jumping right to the point, let’s talk about what kind of cyber breach scenarios you can expect protection from, under the umbrella of such insurances.

  • Expenses which result from a privacy breach. It includes the investigation and forensic research expenses, and in some cases also the public relations cost
  • The cost of implementing new sets of regulations for the cause of defending a breach that is levied by federal authorities or state regulatory bodies.
  • The expenses for the lawsuits to retaliate breaches
  • Coverage for extortion amounts, resulting a cyber attack
  • The loss suffered by the institution as a result of the cyber attack, and subsequent system disruption.

Cyber insurance coverage have popularized over time, as technologies have started becoming more complex, and attacks have started getting more severe. So it’s high time we all realize the importance of it and consider it as a wise investment.While technology has given us a plethora of rewards over the years and still continues to give so, it brings along with it certain evils which we must be prepared to combat.

By-line

Samantha Brown is a freelance writer who specializes on carrier guidance, she is also motivational speaker and author

 

 

 

 

 

3 Proven Ways to Get Financial Aid for Your Dream College

January 7th, 2019

BY LILOU HOFFMAN

Getting into a dream college is cause for excitement and pride for graduating students and their families. But excitement can turn to panic when future freshmen see the price of higher education. With college costs rising year after year, few are able to pay out-of-pocket or by freelancing on the side. Indeed, around two million students already rely on financial aid deals for higher education services. A generous financial aid package oftentimes makes the difference for students, easing the costs of college and making it possible to achieve educational dreams and learn important professional skills.

While the financial aid deal offered may seem like an area where the student has little control, students hold power as potential future clients of the university. Students should consider themselves potential customers shopping for the best deal. With their role as customers in mind, graduating students can take three (free!) tips from high-level business negotiation training to ensure a financial aid deal that makes a university degree more accessible.

Do research on the appeals process

Any good negotiation workshop will tell students to arrive at a negotiation having done research about the other party’s expectations, history, processes, and limits. Students can bring research into the first step of negotiating a better financial aid deal by learning about their dream school’s protocols for redefining a financial aid package.

If a student tries to call a financial aid officer directly, instead of following the school’s established process, the student may never even get to a negotiation with the appropriate person. Often the financial aid officer is unable to make a decision unilaterally; so the student won’t benefit by trying to bypass protocols.

Instead of trying to forge a separate path, students should learn the process for appealing the aid decision at their dream school, as well as do their homework to find out what materials to gather in order to make a more compelling case.

Translating win-win

A negotiation skill taught in the best negotiation workshops is to consider both parties’ needs, and search for a win-win solution in service of as many of those needs as possible. So, in order to get ready to negotiate a new financial aid deal, students must prepare to demonstrate their own needs.

Price is usually the main sticking point when deciding whether a student goes to a dream school, so students should prepare documentation that shows that the only barrier to the student going to the university is cost. To get better needs-based offers, students can show that their family’s income is too limited to invest in the school’s services. Documentation should also demonstrate any changes in the family’s financial circumstances since the application, which make payment more challenging. To argue for more merit-based aid, students can show improved grades or a new SAT score which could help the student access new scholarships.

Students should also consider how to take advantage of needs the university has. Universities want the students they have made offers to to accept. If the college took the time to select those students from a massive pool of applicants, then the college thinks the student’s presence would be beneficial to the college’s interests. So selected students would do well to understand why the University selected them. If students remember the negotiation skill of looking for mutual benefit, students can use this information to make a more compelling argument to their dream school, showing that some more aid would allow both the student and the university to meet their objective of having the student attend the institution.

Remember alternatives

In negotiation skills courses, you’re likely to learn about something called your BATNA – your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Any negotiator must keep in mind what alternatives exist if the negotiation goes sour. This prevents negotiators from entering into a detrimental deal. Students should take this tip from top negotiators by bearing being clear on their BATNA.

Imagine a student seeks to go to their dream school. However, the ideal school costs a great deal more than a acceptably-ranked university where the student received a significant package of scholarships and aid. The student should think what price difference is worthwhile to go to their ideal school over their second choice. If the financial aid package negotiations are going poorly and the ideal school refuses to budge, the student can rest easy with an affordable and acceptable alternative awaiting them.

Establishing a BATNA can help negotiations in a number of ways. If the student shows up desperate to go only to their chosen college, with no secondary offers in mind, the college can usually sense the student’s desperation, and so can have a reduced incentive to lower lend more cost support. With a strong BATNA, the student can feel more confident in having a beneficial strong alternative, no matter the outcome of the negotiation. This allows the student to approach the negotiation with ease and creativity around potential solutions. A strong BATNA also increases leverage at the negotiation table. If the school really would like to see the student join its incoming class, the school will be less likely to play hardball knowing the student has other, more competitive offers.

With these three negotiating tips, based on skills taught in world-class negotiation workshops, students can play a key role in determining their own academic future. These guidelines will empower students to get a great deal which allows them to attend a dream school — at a price the student can handle.

Byline: Building online visibility for the Negotiation Training Experts is Lilou Hoffman’s talent and passion. Her experience in working with sales professionals has given her key insights, essential when it comes to writing instructive and practical posts.