Our lives are enmeshed with devices of all kinds: from our TVs to our phones, smartwatches, even fridges or lights, we are connected most of the time.
It’s rare to find ourselves truly disconnected.
Actually, if you take a moment to look around and watch what your family is doing right now, you’ll notice how many of them are using a device of some kind.
Our privacy, yes, and the people who surround us, especially family. Our digital footprint can be bigger than we ever thought. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to take care of our online presence so that it doesn’t have negative consequences.
Let’s talk about six easy measures to take to make sure that your family is safe online.
1. Make Your Passwords Stronger And Unique
It sounds very cliche, but it’s worth repeating a thousand times. Being safe online is not hard, but you have to look at the basics first, and one of those basic rules is having a good password. Research suggests that 81% of breaches happen because hackers decipher your password and get into your devices. Let’s try to make it harder for them.
Take the time to educate your family on this problem. You can create passwords for each other; you can get a password manager so nobody forgets it; that’s your choice. Everyone should be on board.
This is exactly where a password manager can be a great investment. This software creates the password for you and stores it safely, and you can share the important passwords with your family in a secure way.
2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is that extra layer of security that you can get after creating a good password for your accounts.
The users need to verify that they are attempting to log into an account and that they get a message or code on their phones or emails to allow access. According to Microsoft, MFA can prevent 99.9% of automated attacks, which is enough to put all our minds at ease.
This means that even if someone figures out your password and wants to log in, you’d have to authorize the login attempt, and that’s where they wouldn’t be able to access your accounts. Enabling MFA is a simple solution, and it doesn’t take too much time: you’ll probably find it in your account’s settings.
Once you get used to this extra step, you realize how useful it is.
3. Talk To Your Family About Potential Threats And Cybersecurity News
Phishing attacks are very common: we’ve all gotten a suspicious email at least once. These attacks are designed to make you share confidential information: according to research, 83% of all companies experience a phishing attack each year, though not all are successful, of course.
Phishing techniques haven’t changed all that much; you just have to pay attention to where you put your information. For your family to protect from this kind of cyberattack, you have to let them know how it works and how to avoid it.
Even better, if you use the right email filters and get a good antivirus, you can improve your situation even more. Those misspelled, weird emails can be a thing of the past.
Keeping your family updated is very important, and it’s even more fundamental that they understand why they need to pay attention to the information they share online.
4. Update Your Devices And Your Software Regularly
A very common mistake when we’re talking about online safety is simply forgetting to update our devices. Updates are generally dedicated to new security patches, so failing to update our software is a surefire way to get hacked.
Here’s what you can do with your family:
- Keep their devices updated, checking that they’re fine from time to time. Don’t forget any of them: even your smartwatch updates from time to time.
- If at all possible, set the updates so that they happen automatically so that you don’t have to worry so much about them.
- Update the antivirus and schedule a preventative scanning from time to time, dealing with threats before they evolve.
- Update third-party apps to avoid information leakage. Browsers and messaging apps should be first.
5. Update Your Social Media Settings
Long gone are the times when you didn’t have any power over the privacy of your accounts. Nowadays, governments all around the world are regulating what companies can look into, and it’s beneficial for all of us.
You can start by limiting who sees your posts, who can follow or befriend you, and even what basic information people get from you. The settings help you understand how others might use your personal information.
Children and teenagers especially must be aware of the dangers online. They tend to be common targets for predators and bullies, so if they can understand what not to share, they’ll be safer.
Even better, try to communicate openly. Your kids should be able to share what they’re doing with you without feeling like you’re going to get angry or shame them.
6. Get a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you are serious about your family’s safety online, you can get a VPN. This will give you a secure connection, which will hide your online activity even from your Internet Service Provider.
It’s also an advantage when you connect to a public network, such as a hotel or restaurant’s Wi-Fi.
But what are the benefits of a VPN? Here are some of them:
- A reliable VPN helps with your privacy by encrypting all your online activities.
- It makes and even changes your IP address, which keeps you anonymous, even from websites that track you down.
- It helps you bypass geographical restrictions online: you can watch shows and access information without any censorship.
- You can log into your device from anywhere in the world because a good VPN gives you remote access to home networks.
- You get to enjoy the benefits of public free Wi-Fi without any risks.
To Sum Up
Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to proactively protect our family’s information online.
We can’t just rely on one thing, like a password: we need to innovate. If you implement the strategies above, you’re helping your family enjoy all the benefits of the online world without the risks.
Remember: simple preventative measures are better than online disasters and stressing about your children’s safety.