While internet usage in the home continues to grow, so does our need to learn, exercise and share internet safety. From posting on social media to using the latest internet-connected toy, it is imperative that everyone from children through older adults learn to use the internet and internet-connected items safely.
Here are a few tips to get those conversations started based on StaySafeOnline recommendations:
Keep a Clean Machine: Those pesky “updates” on our cell phones, PCs and other Internet-connected devices, are designed in part to help keep your devices free of viruses, malware, and other online threats. Don’t ignore them – many times they include patches to recently discovered vulnerabilities.
Lock Down Your Login: One does not need to look hard to find recent examples of large-scale password exposures. Improve account security by enabling robust authentication tools such as bio-metrics or one-time access codes. Let’s Talk About Passwords.
Read Between the Lines: Would you put up a sign on your front door saying, “Nobody is Home?” Of course not but that could be how a bad actor reads your real-time check-in or vacation photo. If you want to share your adventures, lock down who can see your posts or consider posting once you have returned.
Share with Care: Think carefully about what you are saying about yourself or others before you post. Choices can hurt feelings, betray trust or even come back to bite you in the future.
Back it up: Having a recent copy of your important files and photos can spare you from the ill-effects of device failure and #ransomware.
Protect Personal Information: Personal information is an asset that can be sold for money. Information such as your locations and purchasing habits and even search history is deemed valuable by an array of retailers. Did you know that Medical Records are more valuable on the black market than your credit card numbers?
Be Aware of Incognito Mode: Browsing Incognito can be a great way to ensure that your cookies and site data are not saved. However, parents beware, browsing incognito can allow your home users to visit sites without you being able to track their activity by looking at the browser history.
Avoid Falling for Tricks: From Phishing to Spoofing, bad actors can be very creative in tricking unsuspecting internet users to click on malware. Knowledge is power so keep yourself and your household familiar with how to recognize potential fraudulent attempts to get you to click. Be wary of communications asking you to click or enter private information. When in doubt, contact the organization directly by phone to confirm that the communication is legitimate and to report it if it is not.
Secure Your WiFi Router: Change your WiFi router’s default name in a way that does not let people identify that it’s yours. No using “WoodwardHomeWiFi”. Set a very strong passphrase for your WIFi network. Have fun with it keeping it positive and easy to remember and consider throwing in some numbers to substitute as letters such as “IL0V3THEB3ACH”.
Follow Xiologix for more #cybersecurity information as we participate in the 15th Annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and work year-round to help businesses of all sizes protect their digital infrastructure and data. #cyberaware