Online security has been one of the biggest issues of the last few years. As someone who is interested in tech, the chances are that you will have had a very good idea of how to look after your own cybersecurity even before we started seeing a flood of news stories about how everyone from the world’s biggest corporations to grandparents was falling victim to ransomware attacks and other forms of scams.
However, as the numbers of these attacks would suggest, most people out there were not ready for what hit them.
Now, more than two years after this explosion in cybercrime, it is clear that the threat is not going anywhere. Experts have been saying for months that people cannot afford to let their guard down and need to do a lot more to ensure that they keep their information and money safe.
You may be doing everything you need to, but what about your friends and family?
Everyone has a parent who can’t seem to get their head around antivirus software or a friend who still doesn’t know what two-factor authentication is. Here are some tips to help you help them.
Get Them To Take It Seriously
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Depending on who you are talking to, this can be the biggest battle. It is staggering how lax some people are when it comes to their cybersecurity, and are always going to be some people who think that you are making a tech issue a bigger deal than it really is.
It can be hard to convince that kind of mindset that there really is a threat out there. If you have someone like this in your family or friend group, then the best approach may be to talk about what they have at risk.
Sure, they may not be a major corporation, but they could still lose a lot of money, which nobody needs right now. Their online shopping accounts could be hacked, which can be difficult to sort out. They may have to replace their computer, which is expensive as well as a hassle.
Talk To Them About Passwords
One of the most common ways that people are still falling victim to cybercrime is by using the same password for multiple accounts or by using easily guessable passwords. Even if your parents are not using “password123”, they still need to think a lot more carefully about what they are using. It is also important to use different passwords for each account, where many of your friends may be putting themselves at risk.
One of the easiest ways around this issue is by using a random password generator. This will ensure that your friends and family members are using a hard-to-guess password that will be different every time.
Help Them To Find Trustworthy Sites
One of the most important things anyone can do to ensure they stay safe online is to be very careful about where they are spending their time. For example, online gaming and gambling are among the most popular pastimes out there, but you want to know that the sites you use are well-reviewed and trustworthy.
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Online casinos are particularly important here, as you will be spending (and hopefully receiving!) money that cybercriminals may have their eyes on. If you have friends or family members who enjoy online gambling, talk to them about the importance of using online casino review sites that give ratings and scores. This gives a feeling of safety that can be hard to find elsewhere. You know that someone has been through the process of testing the site for a range of different issues, from playability to security.
Talk To Them About Two-Factor Authentication
Once you have convinced your friends and family about the importance of random password generators, it is time to move on to two-factor authentication. There is a good chance that many people you know may be using this already without really understanding what it is or why it is important.
If they have not encountered it yet, explain that it is easy for a site to confirm that it is really you trying to sign in. You can help them to set this up on their accounts to ensure that they have an extra level of security at a time when they need it.
Convince Them To Buy Proper Anti-Virus Software
Understandably, many people are desperately trying to avoid spending money at the moment. The cost-of-living crisis has seen prices go up everywhere, and so many people are worried about how they will be able to afford to make it through the winter. However, some things will always be worth paying for, and cybersecurity is one of them.
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Some computer manufacturers are confident in the security options installed in their machines. However, the best way to ensure that nothing is getting through is by investing in good antivirus software with excellent reviews and a service worth shelling out for.
Remind Them To Update Their Software
Everyone is familiar with the irritation of settling down to work or browsing online only for the pop-up notification that there are updates to download and install to arrive. It can be tempting to keep putting those updates off, especially if you know they will take a long time to finish.
There are many reasons why these updates are important, and they will certainly help your computer to run more smoothly, but there are often important security updates there too. If you know that you have a friend or family member who will always hit “remind me later” on those notifications, encourage them to take some time to download and install those updates.