5 tips for you and your family on safer internet day
on Safer Internet Day is a global initiative that began
with the goal of making the Internet a safer and better place for all. What
began as a campaign to raise awareness about Internet safety in Europe about
ten years ago has now grown significantly and is celebrated in over 100
On this day, local and
national organizations join forces to raise awareness about proper Internet
usage. They concentrate on issues such as consent, data privacy and ownership.
They also talk about issues like digital identity, cyber bullying, and social
There is always room for
improvement, no matter how safe and secure you feel when using your computer.
Why not use family
on Safer Internet Day as and excuse to complete all of those
cyber security improvements you've been putting off...
Like choosing strong
passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, downloading the most recent
security updates, backing up your most important files, and revisiting your
privacy settings in case you've accidentally over shared?
So, let's go over those
five changes one by one - they're easier than you think, and much less work
than you might think.
Yes, we say it every year
and have done so for years. However, we still see plenty of people - both at
work and at home - taking unnecessary password shortcuts, employing
"secrets" that any crook could easily guess, such as 12345678 or
nameofcat. (By the way, nameofcat99 isn't any better - the crooks can figure it
out as well.)
If you're having trouble
coming up with good passwords (and remembering them), you're not alone;
consider investing in a password manager
to assist you with password selection.
on 2 factor authentication
2FA is typically in the
form of 6-digit codes texted to your phone or generated by a special app. Along
with your username and password, which are the same every time you login, you
must also enter the one-time code, which is unique each time.
We understand why many
people dislike 2FA; it's inconvenient, and if you're logging in from your
laptop, you shouldn't leave your phone at home or you'll be locked out.
However, 2FA adds a layer
of complexity for criminals because they can't simply steal your password
from a data breach and then enter your account at will.
patches these days aren't just cosmetic; they
typically close security holes that could allow criminals to infiltrate your
system without your knowledge. So if you don't patch, you're much more likely
to run into a crook, because many attacks will succeed against you even if they
fail against everyone else.
So, why put yourself in
danger if you don't have to?
But keep in mind that
it's not just your laptop that requires patches these days; you should also
keep an eye out for updates for your apps, phone, home router, and any cool
"connected devices" you might have, such as internet
doorbells, webcams, and home assistants.
Backups aren't just for
ransom ware protection, where crooks scramble your files and demand money to
unscramble them again.
Backups are there to help
you get back up and running, whether it's a lost or stolen laptop, phone left
in a taxi, tablet computer dropped into Sydney Harbor (it happens! ), fire,
flood, or simple user error.
Remember, the only backup
you'll be sorry for is the one you didn't create.
your privacy setting
Your operating system,
phone, many apps, and almost all online services, such as Face book and
Twitter, have a variety of privacy and security settings that allow you to
control how widely your personal data is shared and indexed.
Unfortunately, every app
and website does it differently, and combing through the privacy menus in each
of them to ensure you're as safe as you'd like is a bit of a science project.
But we urge you to take the time to do so; the only thing worse than discovering you accidentally shared your phone number or other personal information is discovering you could have turned on a feature that would have kept you safe.