Whether it’s used for work, school, or social interactions, technology has undeniably become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. But the wide range of opportunities that technology offers us comes with its own set of risks. As more and more people use devices like smartphones and computers, there has been a reported increase in cyber threats among households. The average household experiences approximately 104 cyber-attacks each month, and it can be detrimental to your family’s safety and security if these attacks are left unnoticed.
This increase in cyber crimes and threats has prompted a demand for cybersecurity research and professionals, with higher education institutes creating more opportunities to train these professionals. Many universities are now working with companies to create specialized cybersecurity curricula. In turn, more universities are including cybersecurity into other related courses. Modern computer science degrees also include a certificate in cybersecurity. These courses teach proficiency in programming language and software development so that threats, breaches, and malware can be detected and addressed accordingly. This understanding of established and emerging technologies also builds a professional’s foundation in mitigating or completely eliminating area-specific vulnerabilities in cellular communication, smart devices, the internet of things (IoT), and the like.
Such skills and focus areas equip them to come up with the following measures to protect our personal information, keep our privacy secure, and ensure our responsible use of technology.
Be aware of generational gaps
In order to effectively teach your household members about cybersecurity practices, there must first be an assessment of how knowledgeable they are about the possible dangers. Older generations are susceptible to online scams like fraudulent transactions and phishing attempts, usually because they’re using online applications for the first time. Cybercriminals also choose to target them since they have more financial assets than younger age groups. Meanwhile, teenagers and young adults are more likely to divulge personal information online, such as photos and location, in an attempt to fit into social media and influencer culture.
Use parental controls
Since you can’t always be by your kids’ side whenever they use their devices for educational, entertainment, and communication purposes, it helps to implement parental controls. A guide to parental controls on social media breaks down how you can utilize each specific network’s features and settings to protect your children from content that is inappropriate for their age or harmful to their body image and mental health. On TikTok, for example, parents can link their accounts to the app to restrict exposure to mature or sensitive content. Phones and tablets also have built-in features for screen time limits, content filtering, and location sharing.
Practice good cyber hygiene
It’s already common practice not to share passwords, but updating them frequently and setting up two-factor authentication further guarantees privacy and security. You can guide family members to use a credible password management app to keep track of all their login credentials every time they change their password or sign up on a new website. When it comes to downloading new apps, always check what kind of information they track and collect before you install them. You can also set up a password for your children’s app store platforms since they can be prone to installing data-hungry apps that disguise themselves as fun and flashy games.
Remind family members to set up automatic software updates or install the update right away after the device sends an alert. These updates typically patch up security issues or loopholes that cybercriminals can take advantage of in order to compromise login credentials, bank information, contacts, and photos. This method also applies to specific software such as Microsoft Word, following recent malware attacks and the exploitation of documents which hackers unleashed via remote code execution. Word processors are used by all family members for work and educational purposes, making the installation of security updates and antivirus software all the more crucial.
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Categorised in: Cybersecurit;y
This post was written by Romina Jennison