Families are often sharing a computer and many parents worry if their children are viewing anything online which could compromise their online privacy. Inexperienced parents may also click on something that reduce their family’s privacy. The main concerns are adware, spyware, trojans, worms, viruses, and other scams. Here are some tips to protect your family’s privacy to gain some piece of mind.
- Hold a family meeting – the only way to bring awareness to a situation is to speak about it. If you have a number of children, they may have varying levels of experience regarding Internet capability. It’s important to talk about what is inappropriate and potentially dangerous to avoid a situation from occurring.
- Understand how posting content works – Discuss the type of content you and your family post because once a picture is sent or a status is updated, that information is now floating around the Internet. When it comes to social media, ensure that your privacy settings are all up-to-date. Also, any children under 13 should not be using social networking platforms.
- Create secure passwords – Many believe that ‘123456’ is a good password because it is easy to remember. The thing is, these common passwords leave you at-risk in terms of hackers. Create family passwords that are more secure, combining a combination of upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers, and symbols. Write it down and leave it in a safe location.
- Do not give your passwords to anyone – Even if someone is claiming to be from an online service or platform you commonly use, you should never give out your personal passwords. Your account could easily be hacked, leaking your information to those who aim to use it against you. The same applies to personal information such as your Social Security number. It’s beneficial to use different passwords for different sites, especially when your credit card is being used.
- Continuously update anti-virus software – It’s critical that you update your software regularly to avoid vulnerabilities. These updates are often critical when protecting your private information. You can also seek additional security tools, such as web browser extensions. Understand the basics regarding cookies, pop-up windows, and any other component of the Internet as well, as they could enhance or reduce your level of privacy.
Do not wait until your security has already been compromised to take action – be proactive, not reactive. Continually speak with your family members in order to ensure everyone’s safety. The key is remaining open and honest, actively working together to reduce your family’s risk.
Magid, L. (2015). Protecing Your Family’s Privacy. Safe Kids. Retrieved on January 23rd, 2016, from http://www.safekids.com/your-familys-privacy/
Qamar, A. (2015). How to Keep Your Family Safe and Protected Online. Intego. Retrieved on January 23rd, 2016, from https://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/how-to-keep-your-family-safe-and-protected-online/
Reputation.com. Protect your family’s online privacy. Retrieved on January 23rd, 2016, from http://uk.reputation.com/familys-online-privacy/