7 Golden Rules Of Internet Privacy For Parents And Families

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Protecting the privacy of your family, especially in the digital world, has become more important than ever. This is not just something a few people wish for. 

Did you know that 85% of adults wish to do more about their online privacy? That means there’s something we need to pay attention to. 

Although many of us enjoy the benefits of technology, it can indeed be challenging to keep up with the latest cyberthreats and the best security practices. 

7 Golden Rules Of Internet Privacy For Parents And Families

But, just like you want your kids to be safe in the real world, and just like you’d want them to enjoy kid-friendly spaces such as coffee shops and restaurants, protecting them online is equally important. 

After all, the internet is not something they can avoid using anymore. 

Let’s review 7 golden rules to keep families safe and maintain their privacy online. 

1. Educate your family about internet security

Information is power. People who don’t know how cyber threats work are at risk, and making sure your family knows what they’re dealing with is essential. 

Everyone in your household should understand the basics of internet safety. 

Simply put, you need to start discussing the risks of sharing personal information with people you don’t know. It’s never too early to create strong passwords, and, perhaps most important of all, everyone should be able to recognize phishing attempts. 

2. Create better passwords

This is something worth delving deep into. Passwords are the first line of defense against a cyberattack. Using strong ones is crucial to stop hackers, so help your family create good ones. 

This means including a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters, and even a passphrase, something that people might tend to remember more than just a random assortment of characters. Avoid using birthdays or common words, even pet names. 

A password manager, on the other hand, might help a lot for those of you who don’t have a good memory. After all, every account should have its unique password. 

3. Enable Two-Factor authentication

After creating a strong password, enabling 2FA should be the next logical step. This adds an extra layer of security to every online account in the case hackers manage to decode or guess the password. 

With 2FA, you have to manually confirm that it’s you trying to get into your accounts. This is done through a second form of verification, like a text message or an authentication app. 

Although this is growing in popularity because it’s effective, only 30 people have taken the steps necessary to protect their online identity in this way. 

Important accounts, like banking or email, should be protected in this way in your family. 

4. Update devices and software

Updating every device and software that you interact with is important to keep your family safe. Oftentimes, the companies that manage these updates do so because they add new security patches so that emerging threats don’t target your devices. 

Fortunately, it’s possible to set up automatic updates. If someone is against this, you can always make a habit of reviewing what needs to be updated and taking turns to do it from time to time. 

5. Avoid public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are very convenient, especially if you’re traveling in a new place or if you work from cafeterias or coworking spaces. Unfortunately, they can be risky. They’re not as secure, and your personal information can be exposed to hackers. 

If you and your family tend to use public Wi-Fi when out and about, you mustn’t access sensitive information, like your bank app, while connected to an unsecured network. If necessary, use a virtual private network (VPN) like Surfshark to hide and protect your data.

6. Review social media settings

Cyberthreats are very common on social media platforms, with scammers sending messages and trying to get people to click on suspicious links or give them money in some way. You must review and update your privacy settings on this platform, as well as your family’s.

Encourage them to see their personal information as something valuable that hackers and cybercriminals will use against them. Some risks come with oversharing online, and posting details like their home address or location information can be dangerous. 

7. Use parental controls

Families with younger children can benefit from parental control tools. These help monitor what the kids are doing online. It isn’t done to give them a lecture about it but rather to prevent dangerous situations with adults on the internet or to put a stop to online bullying. 

Get familiar with what’s available in your devices, and set the parental control tools according to what your kids and you need to be safe. 

Final thoughts

Although it might seem daunting, protecting your family’s privacy online isn’t necessarily difficult. There are some basic rules to follow and simple risks to avoid. With a bit of education and prevention, your family will enjoy a safe digital environment. 

The key is to educate yourself, stay vigilant, and be proactive. Caution has never hurt anyone before. 

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