6 Online Safety Tips for Families in 2020

Kids today are becoming more familiar with their devices, and so are many parents. Although, increased technological exposure doesn’t always translate into increased online safety. We pulled from cybersecurity experts from multiple vendors to collect the top six and most practical internet safety tips for kids, teens and parents.

 

1. Install a free anti virus

Antivirus software is designed to protect your device from viruses, trojans, bots, rootkits, worms and other malware that siphon sensitive data or cause harm. Without antivirus, Windows or Mac, the device is susceptible to attack without ever knowing it. Windows devices come pre-installed with Windows Defender, while Apple devices have macOS Security both offer out-of-box protection, but we recommend it to you install a 3rd party Antivirus protection that works to increase the depth of security on the device. See this list for the top Free Antivirus solutions available.

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus
  2. Kaspersky Antivirus
  3. Trend Micro Free Tools

2. Avoid phishing scams - beware of unusual or suspicious emails

Phishing scams are a consistently elusive threat - using various social engineering ploys, cyber-criminals will try to trick you into divulging personal information such as your username and password, banking, credit card information, and other private details.

  • Phishing scams can be carried out by phone, text, or through social networking sites - but most commonly by email.
  • Be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone call that asks for personal or financial information.

See the University of Berkeley’s Phishing section for details about identifying phishing scams and protecting yourself.

3. Careful watcha click!

Disguising malicious links as links to Amazon, YouTube, or other known areas shared through Instagram, Facebook, or other social media sites are increasing in number. These domains act as a host for malware that will automatically, and silently, compromise your computer.

If attachments or links in the email are unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don't click on it.

To prevent websites or browser applications from automatically executing malicious code, you can download one of the best script blockers on the internet, NoScript.

4. Enable two-factor authentication when possible

Multi Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security used to validate a user when they are trying to gain access to their online account. A user will enter their username and a password. Then, instead of immediately gaining access, they will be required to provide another piece of information. This second factor could come from one of the following categories:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Or Challenge question

With multi-factor authentication, a potential compromise of one of these factors won’t unlock the account. So, even if you lose your phone or lost your password, the chances of a someone else having your second-factor information is highly improbable.

5. Avoid websites missing the lock

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and its successor, TLS (Transport Layer Security), are protocols for establishing authenticated and encrypted links between networked computers. Websites that have them have a valid SSL certificate and can be trusted to exchange information securely.

6. Protect private information

Be careful of sensitive information that you come into contact with, it is best to keep data off of your electronic device, and store it on a detachable hard-drive or USB.

  • Keep sensitive data (e.g., SSN's, credit card information, student records, health information, etc.) off your workstation, laptop, or mobile devices.
  • Securely remove sensitive data files from your system when they are no longer needed.

These powerful yet simple cyber security tips can go a long way in preventing a cyber catastrophe. Be Proactive with your online security, follow these tips, and understand that Cyber criminals don’t discriminate in their attacks. Not all problems can be undone with CRTL+Z.

 

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