10 Cyber Security Tips for Digital Families

cyberaware-2016Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

Once again, KidsPrivacy is excited to be a Champion for this campaign. Every October, my Twitter feed lights up with security tips and tools for keeping devices safe and secure. Every year, I discover more new and updated security tips.

One of the best places to find tips for families is at STOP. THINK. CONNECT. This year STOP. THINK. CONNECT is celebrating its 6th year with a focus on teaching kids to –

STOP: make sure security measures are in place.

THINK: about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online.

 CONNECT: and enjoy the Internet.

As kids become more active online, their concerns about safety and privacy increase. In fact, a 2016 NCSA study, co-sponsored by Microsoft, found that many of teens top online safety concerns were about privacy and security. Teens said they were “very concerned” about someone accessing their accounts without their permission (47%), sharing personal information about them online (43%) or posting a photo or video of them online that they wanted to remain private (38%).

To celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month have a cyber security conversation with your family. Talk to your kids about ways to keep  personal information and devices secure. To help with this conversation, here are 10 Security Tips for Families.

10 Security Tips for Families from Stop Think Connect

  • Think before you app: Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it is collected through apps.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use: Some stores and other locations look for devices with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth turned on to track your movements while you are in range. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use.
  • Be vigilant when using public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi is not secure, meaning anyone could potentially see your online activities when connected. Remember to limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services on these networks.
  • Keep your mobile phone and apps up to date: Your mobile devices are just as vulnerable as your PC or laptop. Having the most up-to-date security software, web browser, operating system and apps is the best defense against viruses, malware or other online threats.
  • Delete when done: Many of us download apps for specific purposes, such as planning a vacation, and no longer need them afterwards, or we may have previously downloaded apps that are no longer useful or interesting to us. It’s a good security practice to delete apps you no longer use
  • Think before you post: What you post can last a lifetime: Before posting online think about how it might be perceived now and in the future and who might see it.
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It is ok to limit how and with whom you share information.
  • Be aware of what is being shared: Be aware that when you share a post, picture or video online, you may also be revealing information about others. Be thoughtful when and how you share information about others.

For more online safety tips, visit Stop Think Connect and follow the campaign on Twitter #CYBERAWARE.

 

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