When it comes to staying safe online, we often think about how to keep our financial and business accounts secure, with personal accounts often a secondary concern. However, as work and personal lives converge (we’ve all checked our work emails from our home laptops), it’s important we adhere to the same standards of online security, for business and pleasure. And this should extend to your entire family.
article by Steve Schult, Sr. Director of Product Management, LastPass
Recent research found that 91 per cent of people feel that having a strong password allows them to protect their family better. As more of our data moves online, it’s hard to keep track of all the family accounts: patient logins at the doctors, school passwords, national insurance numbers, and so on. For busy mums especially, it can be hard to juggle personal and work accounts, along with everything else there is to think about!
Thankfully, online security doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The following tips will help families manage their online security:
- Set up a password manager
A password manager is a great way to securely and digitally store all your passwords and important personal details. They help generate long, complex and unique passwords, requiring the user only remember the master password. So, it’s a pretty handy way to clear out some space in your brain! Password managers can be used across multiple devices, meaning you can access your details from anywhere, anytime.It’s important to choose a password manager that makes it easy for you to manage the needs of your family as well. Being able to store and share login credentials for bank accounts and streaming sites, alongside any other pieces of information, such as passport details, will be invaluable to any mum trying to easily and securely keep track of everyone’s details.
- Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) across all accounts
Along with having strong, unique passwords for every online account, another good tip is to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) across all accounts. This means that if a user wants to access an account, they’ll need to enter a second piece of information, which can be anything from a one-time code sent via text message, or a fingerprint. Even if a hacker manages to get access to a user’s password, they won’t be able to get into the account without this second piece of information. Don’t forget to implement 2FA on your email addresses too. Your email is essentially a gateway to everything you do online, so it’s important you keep it as secure as possible.
- Watch out for phishing scams
Phishing scams involve criminals using fake information to trick you into revealing confidential details. These can range from passwords to bank details. If you unknowingly give away key credentials, it doesn’t matter how strong your passwords are. Phishing scams come in all shapes and sizes, and are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, but one of the easiest ways to avoid being caught out is to never click on unsolicited links in emails. It’s also a good idea to install anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall software, something a technician at your local computer store can easily do for you.
- Educate your children on best security practices
Finally, it’s important that everyone in the family has a clear understanding of best security practices, and this should include children. As they spend more and more time online, and use the same technology as adults, it’s crucial that they don’t become the weak link in your family’s security. This is especially important if computers and devices are shared. Teaching them about strong passwords, and not clicking links they don’t recognise, will prove invaluable.
By following these tips, not only will you increase your personal security, but you’ll ensure your family is protected as well. As a busy mum, you’ll be able to free up space in your brain, and both work and personal admin will become streamlined and stress free – or one less thing to worry about!