5 Ways to Improve Your Family’s Cyber Security
It is easy to fall into bad habits or ignore cyber security at home. With a wide range of personal, financial and medical information stored online, taking time to strengthen your family’s online security could save you time, money and aggravation. This article includes basic tips that will provide peace of mind and help reduce risk.
1. Protect Your Network – Failing to protect your home wireless network is like leaving your door wide open. Password protecting your network is a good place to start, but there are other steps you must take to truly protect your network. You should also change your security defaults and set up a firewall. Click here to learn more about how to secure your home network.
2. Protect Your Computer – Utilize antivirus software to protect your computer from viruses, malware and spyware. Update your antivirus software, operating system and other applications often. Software updates include important security patches that protect your computer from known flaws and threats. Be cautious when downloading email attachments. Many spam or fraudulent email attachments contain malicious software. You should also fully shutdown your computer when not in use for extended periods.
3. Protect Your Cellphone – Current smartphones are more powerful than many home computers were ten years ago. It is important to take similar precautions to protect your cellphone and your private data. This includes locking your phone when not in use, as well as using strong passwords and encryption. Click here to read our article, “8 Ways to Protect Your Smartphone”.
4. Protect Your Children – Child predators and scammers target children on social networks, gaming sites, message boards and via email. It is important to begin teaching children about online safety early but you should also keep an open dialogue with older children and teens. The National Children’s Advocacy Center offers helpful tips on teaching your children about online safety. You should also be aware of how the information you post online may put your children at risk. Click here to read our alert on the risks of posting GPS tagged photos of your children.
5. Protect Your Wallet – Each year hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to online scams. Familiarizing yourself with common schemes will help protect you and your family. The best rule of thumb to follow is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Click here to read our article, “Avoid the 5 Most Common Scams”. You can also read more about online scams at OnGuardOnline.gov.