These days the internet is an integral part of family life, from keeping us entertained through to helping with that school project. The threats to your family and data can be easily minimised by following these simple steps.
Secure your network
Your first line of defence comes from setting up your router to fend off attacks. Make sure your firewalls are activated and you use a good strong password, not just to stop people pinching your internet broadband, but also to stop them infiltrating your network of devices. Make sure that everyone knows how to safely use ‘free Wi-Fi’ when out, so that viruses are not brought back into the home.
Installing a good security and antivirus software and scheduling it to check your devices often. There are several good programs on the market, AVG (link) and MacAfee (link) are two to consider. These both have mobile versions as well. You can also get some clever parental control software, which will prevent access to most adult or dangerous sites.
Passwords and Updates
Use strong passwords, and a different one for each of your families accounts. Mix letters and numbers and symbols to make it as hard as possible for a potential hacker to access your precious information. Changing passwords regularly will also deter the would-be identity thief. Keeping your software updated is an excellent way of protecting yourself and your devices, as programmers often update the defence against attack and smooth out bugs from crashing the software. Make this a habit once a week to check all your computers, tablets, and mobiles for new software.
Make sure your kids (and grandma too) are cyber savvy. Not discussing things online that could give away vital information, like full names, address, birthdays etc. Do not advertise your holiday dates, or show pictures with license plates. Check off geo-tagging on the photos your phone takes, so that when they are uploaded the location is not given away. ‘Checking in’ to public places should also be discouraged. The less personal info they give out the better.
Do not forget that all this extends to your Xbox or PS, too. Monitor play and chat comments, for incidences of bullying, harassment, or predators. This is one often exploited avenue into your child’s world. We do not want them to stop having fun, but make sure they use their avatar and username, as opposed to their photo and real name. Tell them to never give away their real name, or info through a game.
Look for the S
When giving information on any website online, look for the s on the end of the http. This shows that the website is secured. Be careful when finding a brand-new store online, check it out first and see if there are any reviews or warnings about shopping with them. Google wants all websites that have an input field on the site should all have this ‘s’.
Emails phishing, and frauds
Try to teach your family about fraud emails, and the attempts they make to gather your data and passwords. Look for the email address, is it a legit address? Install spam software on your email client. Any email offering giveaways, prizes, lottery entries, requests for donation, etc. should be viewed with suspicion.
Finally, make sure to back-up all important documents and data, preferably to a hard drive not connected to the internet, or a trusted cloud service. Not just to save from malicious attack, but also, because you never know when you might lose your device through accident or breakdown.
We hope these tips will help you keep your family safe online. If you need advice or help with setting up your router, please contact us