PORTLAND -- Thousands of teens will head off to college in August. And for many, it'll be the first time they've experienced total independence.
This, perhaps will be the generation that is the most plugged-in. They have always had a digital presence in their lives. And most, if not all of them, are mobile and connected to the world around them online. They text, tweet share and post several times a day.
And for cyber criminals, they are easy targets.
"You've got to keep your guard up and you've got to go in with a little bit of understanding about what some of the risks are," said Scott Waddell, the Chief Technology Officer for iovation, one of the largest online fraud protection companies in the world.
Iovation's leaders sat down with KGW to talk about the eight things college students should know, to avoid becoming victims of identity thieves or cyber criminals. And students are listening.
"I don't think our generation thinks much about it because we're online so much," said student Adrian Strock.
But the experts say the students need to think about cyber safety. And the tips start with changing passwords every few months. And watching what they post.
"Not putting the kind of information into social media that could cause a physical or online security threat," Waddell said. That includes addresses, phone numbers and locations.
People just don't need to know where you are at all times. Student George Rohrich agrees.
"Everyone's on social media," he said. "You don't really know who you're talking to, just at face value, I guess."
And the experts say, don't accept random friend requests on Facebook from people you don't know.
"If I don't know the person, really other than through another person, I will reject it," said student Jim Parsons.
Rohrich concurs. "This generation, I think moreso, is practically online for everything."
"It's easy for someone to come in and actually copy the photos from their profile and then go create a new Facebook account as that individual," said Waddell.
Waddell said college students also need to watch out for phishing. Students are prime targets for scammers.
And also be aware of the free wi-fi around campus. Free comes at the cost of security, so never do sensitive transactions over a public wi-fi.
"I think that's the real challenge," said Strock. "Being able to keep up with the people, the predators, basically."
And although it's not security-related, experts also say its important for students to remember that what they post online will always be there. The Internet is forever. And future employers will likely look at applicants' social media. So if it's not something you would show a potential employer, experts say, do not post it to your page.
Here's a summary of the 8 tips offered by iovation:
The Internet is forever; think about future employers, including those coveted summer internships.Don't add your address to your Facebook profile.Don't broadcast your location; checking-in is fine, just do it sparingly.Don't "friend" people you don't know.Guard your Social Security number. Always. It's like a winning lottery ticket for a scammer, fraudster or identity thief.Don't use the same password everywhere. Consider using an "all-in-one" password manager.Beware of emails phishing for personal information. Never give credit card info, usernames, passwords or other personal info.Be Wi-Fi savvy and safe. Free Wi-Fi comes at the cost of security. Unsecured networks are gold mines for identity thieves.