COVID-19 has changed the very way we live, play and work on the internet. Of course, being connected online helps reduce the impact of social gatherings, but it also brings other hosts of safety issues to your family regarding cybersecurity. I have created five essential tips to increase the cybersecurity and safety for your family.
Tip 1: Common sense.
This may seem rather on the nose, but the use of common sense of an event can significantly change the outcome. For instance, your child sharing some basic information in a school setting with other kids is probably fine but sharing that same basic information on a public forum board makes your family a higher target for unwanted cyber threats. Always check up on what your family is posting online.
Tip 2: Batten down the hatches!!
Please make sure all devices capable of accessing the internet have their firmware and software updated regularly. Most features and software updated have security features baked in, so it's only going to increase your family's protection from unwanted cyber attacks. This is one of the easiest and passive security features you can do to protect your family online.
Tip 3: Read the terms of service agreement for the software and applications your family uses.
If the terms of service agreement are questionable on what data they are keeping or sharing, removing that application should be a top priority. It's also a rule of thumb that any "free" application isn't truly free, but rather you’re paying for it with your family's data.
Tip 4: Balance.
Finding the right balance between protection and allowing your family to express themselves online freely is tricky. What I suggest is allowing exchange between offline events to online events. For example: Have a family hike, take pictures and videos of the event for the memories. Then discuss with your family what should and shouldn't be uploaded online. Events like this will allow for family bonding and instruction on what is safe or unsafe for posting.
Tip 5: Open line of communication.
Discuss what concerns, privacy, dangers, and expectations for everyone in the family regarding your digital footprint. I would also suggest making a family social media contract. It should contain all the topics you discussed regarding your family's digital footprint and a section regarding an open communication line that's judgment free. The last part of allowing a safe haven encourages children to report any potential cyber threat issues when they occur rather than finding them later.
Vala Secure currently doesn't offer any home services for cybersecurity, but we provide cybersecurity services and compliance solutions. Please contact us at 972-429-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org for any cybersecurity business inquiries.
"Keeping Children Safe Online." Department of Justice, 16 June 2020, www.justice.gov/coronavirus/keeping-children-safe-online.
"Good Digital Parenting While Staying At Home." Family Online Safety Institute, 2020, www.fosi.org.