A recent study estimated that nine out of ten 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. Mobile-using students also tend to use unprotected public WiFi networks more, which adds additional risk factors to their profile. These factors combine to transform the generation that grew up using the internet most frequently into the generation that’s the most vulnerable online.

Hotspot Shielda wireless VPN has been downloaded more than 100 million times on PCs, Macs, iOS and Android platforms. The company experienced explosive growth in 2012 and, according to Quantcast, is among the top 35 online destinations based on total internet traffic.

The new version of the popular application includes:

  • Privacy protection for anonymous web communication, browsing and sharing online at dorms, cafes and offices.
  • Twenty percent greater mobile data savings capabilities, saving users up to $30 per month in mobile data fees.
  • The ability to access US and UK TV shows and other services online by switching IP addresses—a must-have when traveling abroad.
  • A new user interface that makes it easier than ever to view bandwidth savings and manage features.

To celebrate the launch, AnchorFree will kick off a contest to help US and UK college students keep their digital lives private and secure: the Hotspot Shield College Privacy Challenge, with $50,000 in scholarship awards distributed among the top three finishing universities. During the Challenge, any college student registering with a school-provided “.edu” or, in the United Kingdom, “.ac.uk,” email address will receive a free subscription to Hotspot Shield VPN for iPhone,Android, PC and Mac for one full year—up to a $42 value. The contest begins April 1 and will run through June 9.

More information about the Hotspot Shield College Privacy Challenge can be found at http://college.hotspotshield.com.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

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