Safety tips for your family as you increase your online use

There’s no denying that Australians – especially the youth – are spending more time on the internet every year, and particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic. While it can be a good way to stay busy and continue work or school remotely, there’s the potential for increased risk of cyberattacks, identity fraud and online scams.

Taking the proper safety precautions can help keep your family safe and ensure they avoid falling into common cyber-traps. As well as having technology security such as anti virus software on your system, here’s what you need to think about.

Protect your sensitive information

As our day-to-day tasks increasingly transition to the online world, it can make our lives easier but also become more susceptible to risk. You can take extra precautions whenever sensitive information is being entered, such as when using online banking.

With many Australians now working from home or going to school virtually, it’s essential that you take care to protect your login details and passwords. If a cyberattack were to breach your system, then it wouldn’t only affect you, but may also affect your workplace or your children’s school.

Keep your passwords personal, and it’s also recommended that you use two-factor authentication for added protection.

Never share personal information

If there’s one key rule your whole family should abide by online, it’s to never open emails from someone you don’t know. Also, don’t click on unfamiliar links, as these can be used for phishing. These types of scams are increasingly common and they work by a malicious person emailing you while impersonating a company. They will direct you to a website that looks legitimate and ask you to enter your login details and password. Once you do that, they can easily steal your information.

Other ways you can fall victim to online attacks are via identity theft and ransomware. Identity theft could end with someone stealing your bank information and your money, while ransomware attacks can take over your computer and threaten to destroy all your personal information unless you pay them a ransom (usually via Bitcoin) within a certain time.

So, how do you avoid these common cyberattacks? Never share your personal information online, and don’t click on unusual links.

Know where to safely store your data

In the past you could use a filing cabinet or a hidden safe to protect your personal information, important paperwork, and valuables like your passport and birth certificate. Nowadays, however, we’re all living in the cloud which means you need to find a place to secure your digital data.

There are plenty of options available, whether it’s a free service like Google Docs or a paid subscription where a host keeps your data on-premises. The choice is yours, but it’s critical that you back up your sensitive information  both in the cloud and somewhere physical – such as on a portable hard drive at home.

Protect your family online with regular communication

While you might be a tech-savvy superstar who knows all about multi-factor authentication and how to avoid cyberattacks, that doesn’t mean the rest of your family is the same. And it only takes one instance of hacking or breach of cybersecurity to put your whole network at risk.

The best way to protect yourself, your family and your personal information is to keep the lines of communication open. Teach your kids about good online safety habits, and ensure they create complex passwords that aren’t easily hacked.

Do not become complacent!

We might be spending more time online these days, but it’s important not to get complacent about internet safety.

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