Use the generation gap to your advantage! Help keep your loved ones safe.

Todd Douds in Cyber Security 10 December, 2020

Today’s technology is a lot for anyone to grasp, and it might be especially challenging for family members who aren’t comfortable with new tech. One way to help loved ones stay safe and secure on their devices is to share strategies they can use to offset security risks.

This recent SANS Newsletter provides some simple, but impactful tips to give loved ones to help keep them safe online:

  • Use strong passwords. Long passphrases are a safe way to protect online accounts and can be easiest for loved ones to remember. Password managers are also useful if remembering passwords is difficult. Family members will only have to remember one password to access the rest. If a password manager isn’t an option, keeping them written down in a secure place is a good alternative. For critical accounts, like financial accounts or others with sensitive information, suggest a two-step verification to add an extra layer of security in case a password is compromised.
  • Be aware of social engineering. Scammers and con-artists often pretend to be tech support, the government, debt collectors, or even potential romantic partners online or over the phone. Make sure loved ones understand that their passwords, credit card information, or other personal information should never be shared with anyone. Give examples of these phishing calls and emails so they are better equipped to recognize them, and let them know that if they have questions or if a message looks suspicious, they should contact you before responding.
  • Use the right tools. Home Wi-Fi networks should be password protected and with a customized password that has been updated from the default. Using a secure DNS with the Wi-Fi network can help avoid infected websites and can give control over what websites users have access to, which is especially helpful for households with visiting children. Along with secure Wi-Fi, all systems and software should have all updates installed. Keeping software updated makes it harder for hackers to access personal information. If loved ones are using an outdated device, replace it with a new device that can receive the updates. Opting for automatic updates ensures they get updates installed, even if family members forget.

 

Have a backup as a last resort. Using the Cloud is a great way to make sure all information is kept somewhere safe.

Are loved ones still curious about social engineering, updates, and passwords? Share this SANS Newsletter for more tips.

For more information on online safety, check out the other cybersecurity blogs.

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