Aaron Schaffer, Photo Editor

Students with .edu domain emails can now register for an Internet protection service through a recently formed program called AnchorFree. Their Hotspot Shield Campus Privacy Challenge initiative kicks off the effort to help college students in the U.S. and the U.K keep their digital lives private and secure and even offers scholarship aid to schools with the most registrations.

AnchorFree has been placing consumers in control of their online privacy since its founding in 2005. It secures all Internet communications, protects the user’s identity online, and provides universal access to all Internet content, ensuring that all consumers can browse the whole web securely and privately on their electronic devices.
Even with protection services like McAfee or Norton Antivirus, AnchorFree is still worth considering since it provides additional protection.

“During the challenge, any college student registering with a school-provided .edu email will receive a free one-year subscription to Hotspot Shield Virtual Private Network for up to five devices including, iPad, Android, iPhone, tablets PCs and Macs,” AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky said in a statement. “Students are the only ones eligible to get the product for free.”

Other users pay a $42 fee.

Based on registration numbers relative to university size, 10 scholarships of $5,000 each will be distributed to the three schools with the highest relative number of sign-ups. The challenge will run through June 2.

The top schools will receive designation as the “Most Private Campus” prior to the start of the 2013-14 academic year.
One of the main goals of this program is to work on securing internet privacy, especially for college students who don’t fully know these risks.

“[The campaign] can help students understand a new way to communicate digitally and be assured that their information is both private and secure,” Gorodyansky said. “A recent study estimates that nine out of 10 undergraduate students will own a smartphone by the time this year’s crop of freshmen is slated to graduate.”

As this demographic grows, college students are increasingly at risk of having their privacy compromised. AnchorFree wants to help protect students and make sure everyone is aware of the risks to their digital privacy, particularly on mobile devices.

“We aim to help students take their online privacy into their own hands by offering a free 1-year subscription to Hotspot Shield,” Gorodyansky said.

Teitelman is a member of the class of 2016.

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