Staying safe online is a group activity – it is important to talk to everyone in your family about being safe online so all of them can recognize the danger and browse the Internet safely. Children and older citizens are particularly at risk because they might not be able to recognize phishing attacks, malware, and other scams.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your family safe:
- Secure you Wi-Fi
Keep a password on your home Wi-Fi network. This will help prevent unwanted access to devices on your network, which could compromise your personal information. Check your wireless router’s instruction manual for instructions on how to change your network’s password.
- Talk to your family about Social Networking
Many social networks do not allow users under the age of 13 to create an account. When you and your family do sign up for social media, be careful with what personal information you make available to the public.
- Create strong passwords
A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and contain a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. It should be easy to remember, but difficult to guess, and should be changed on a regular basis. For more info on passwords visit <link to page about passwords.>
- Learn to avoid scams
Scams take on a huge range of variation and methods depending on the desired outcome by the scammer. Some target your money directly, while others want your personal information. For more information, check out our page on scams. <Link to page about scams>
- Keep computers up to date
Technology companies regularly release updates for their applications and operating system to improve security by closing holes and exploits used by hackers. Many applications will notify you when these updates are available, and they can be updated with a simple click.
- Back up your computer
Keeping an up-to-date backup of your computers can be very important, particularly if you use your computer as a source of income, but even if your computer is strictly personal, the loss of family pictures and videos, financial documents, and other important files can be devastating. There are many methods for backing up your computer such as physical drives that you connect to, as well as cloud backups.
- Shop Safely
Shopping online is convenient, but it’s also an opportunity for scammers to steal your money. Prevent this by only shopping from outlets that you can verify are legitimate businesses and making sure to shop using an encrypted (https://) connection (link to https blog post).