How to Protect Your Family Data Online

by | Life, Parenting

The Internet swiftly turned from privilege to a facilitator, and ultimately to an indispensable part of everyday life. Sure, it is safe to say that people are yet to get addicted to the use of online services, but they most definitely need them to perform some key aspects of everyday life.

Kids nowadays take classes and perform group projects under helpful tutor supervision thanks to online group services. Businesses, on the other hand, do most of their work digitally nowadays – from correspondence and collaboration, through signatures and authorizations, all the way to funds transfer. In this regard, teachers and educational establishments as a whole tend to take on the responsibility of eliminating abuse at any time. Corporate data is also protected, both by legal provisions and extensive encryption and protection services.

Nevertheless, when it comes to families and their private lives, the situation is somewhat different. Here, you could say that parents are the responsible adults, even though they tend to have different approaches in separate parts of the world, as pointed out by Ana from Still, there is a lot more you can do to protect your family data and avoid common modern issues such as identity theft, credit abuse, cyberbullying and more.

Turn Off Locations

All devices nowadays come with the option to track their location and that of their holder. Unless you are personally tracking your kid, it is most advisable to turn off all location capabilities on your own, and your child’s device. This is all the more pertinent in their case, as they can be less aware of the actual data shared by specific apps they are using, and will accept this without second-guessing it.

Employ VPN

Rather than employing VPN, always try to teach your family to use safe Wi-Fi connections only. The practical use of Virtual Private Networks is to conceal your online activities, location and ultimately grant you access to services which are otherwise inaccessible or dangerous. Sharing information is done relatively securely through such VPNs, although it would be even better to wait and connect to your home data if you are looking to handle some sensitive online operations.

Use Dual-Factor Authentication

Passwords were long considered to be the pillar of security, but nowadays, people know better than to rely on the combination of their birthday and favourite TV show to protect their finances. Hackers and their different malware have been posing a serious threat on passwords, which is how the first pass databases came about. These generate or provide ready-made difficult passwords that are harder to encrypt than regular ones.

Better yet, services have started offering dual-factor authentication to their users. Now, you can protect your profile or other account with an initial password, and an additional PIN, usually sent to the user via a select mode (email, text message on smartphone, specific code generator on the mobile app, etc.).

Set up Privacy Preferences

This is a really important consideration, especially since it helps instil a sense of personal responsibility into youngsters. First of all, make sure you are informed of all the latest privacy settings on a specific platform. That way, you can identify the ones that fit you best, and how to employ them.

What is more, the practice of fine-tuning your privacy settings – on accounts, browsers, services – is largely educational for children as well. This teaches them responsibility and self-protection, as well as awareness of the threats surrounding their cyberspace.

Install a Monitoring System

If you are still wary of the actions your kids take online, it may be best to install a monitoring system. This should not collide with the trust bond you are building with your offspring, but rather only help you protect them from all sorts of hurtful and inappropriate content.

In fact, it is better to explain to your kids what it is and why the monitoring and blocks system has been installed in the first place. This will introduce a sense of respect towards the child, and regard for their specific online needs and preferences. Make sure to hear their opinion as well, and only then decide whether to apply monitoring and blocking tools, and to which extent.

Cover the Cameras

Ever since footage from Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, showed him taping the camera on his laptop, this became a most wild trend. There have been speculations about government, as well as other third party organizations exerting surveillance through such hardware. According to testimonies and likely theories, they hack into the device as soon as it is connected to the Internet, and gain control over various functionalities of its system. For video surveillance specifically, such hackers employ the device’s camera.

While some consider it to be a trend, and others deem it as a means to rouse some panic among the public, it is still a point of discussion. Nevertheless, doing it will definitely give you some peace of mind, which is always desirable in a stressful time as this.

Establish Financial Restrictions  

Entire families have been stripped to the streets by debts that others incurred on their behalf, through identity theft and credit fraud. In other words, parents and children who are behaving less responsibly online often come across situations where they need to share one personal data about themselves, or another. While adults are getting more educated on the risks, children tend to become aware of this later on, which is hackers’ and intruders’ main advantage.

The latest events show credit fraud to be trending, and most damaging threat, with people getting loans or issuing credit cards on others’ behalf. Make sure to establish the proper restrictions, such as regular alerts and notifications on all activities regarding your identity. For a more specific approach, apply credit lock or credit freeze, and prevent your name from being even eligible for the fraud, unless you personally want to take out a credit.

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