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5 tips for you and your family on safer internet day
  • 30 Dec 2022

5 tips for you and your family on safer internet day

Family 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 countries worldwide?

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 media.

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.

Pick proper password

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.

Turn 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.

Get those patches

Most software 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.

Make your backups

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.

Revisit 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.