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Excerpts From KFNX Phoenix Radio Interview – Top 16 Personal Digital Safety Tips

David Jones, CyberSponse’s Senior Security Solutions Manager, was interviewed on the radio show “Family Matters with the Mothers” today on KFNX 1100AM Radio in Phoenix. They had a full discussion on what parents can do to help ensure cyber safety for their families when using computers. They also discussed all that comes with computer use, like social media, email, apps, visiting websites and online purchasing. We will post the audio file in a separate blog.

The hosts asked David to provide this information to them in written form. Here it is! 

Top 16 Personal Digital Safety Tips  
  1. Educate yourself: We live in a different world today from 30 years ago. We must accept the fact that digital safety and responsibility is and will be a part of our lives. We cannot ignore it. At the end of the day, you are the sole person responsible for your digital life!
  1. Secure your home network: Make sure you have properly set security options (WAP) on your wifi devices and network.
  1. Use a firewall: Everyone has a firewall built into their cable modems and routers. Are you taking advantage of it?
  1. Scan for viruses: Have a good anti-virus software on all your computers and mobile devices. Additionally, keep the software up-to-date and scan regularly.
  1. Scan for spyware: There are additional software apps that can do deep scans for spyware on your computers and mobile devices that anti-virus programs may not catch. Thus, scan on a regular basis for spyware.
  1. Stay up-to-date: Keep your computers and mobile devices up-to-date with patching software updates. When you get the message to update your software, do it!
  1. Secure your mobile devices: There are many steps you can take to improve your security on your mobile device. Take the time to learn the settings and options that affect security. For example, turn off automatic downloads in SMS messages, turn off wi-fi, Bluetooth and NFC when not in use, install mobile security software, install firewall software, use encryption for sensitive data, lock phone when not in use, etc.
  1. Use good passwords: One of the easiest methods for the hacker to penetrate your computer or device is through not setting good passwords. Use a password management program like LastPass, which creates different passwords for all your sites. You only have to remember a good password for LastPass. LastPass will create all the other random passwords for all your sites. Change them on a regular basis. Additionally, please do not keep the same password for 12 years!
  1. Don’t send confidential information through email: Anything online is potentially at risk – including your email accounts, so do not use email for sensitive data. If you must, encrypt the information first so you have some protection.
  1. Never open up attachments: As a rule of thumb, don’t open attachments in your email unless you know for sure who it is from and what it is. Always have your anti-virus program scan it before you open it.
  1. Never click on links in email: Again unless you know who that link was sent from and you knew they were sending it, don’t click on links. Trust me, it is not the kind of “fishing” (phishing) you will like!
  1. Share services: Don’t broadcast shared services off your home network printer and WiFi router. Lock it down. Moreover, know exactly what you are connecting to and what is connecting to your network. I always enable WAP security.
  1. Admin login versus regular user: Don’t stay in admin user mode all the time on your laptop or desktop computer. Set up another user account on your system with regular rights. Admin rights have access to everything, including root directories, password and account setups, etc. For example, if someone gets into your system, they’d have the same rights you do when you are logged in. You don’t want to give them the keys to the kingdom!
  1. Protecting your children: There are several good software programs that can protect you and your children from visiting potentially dangerous and inappropriate sites. For example, McAfee Safe Eyes is one program you can look at to provide controls on your children’s computers. Actively communicating and being aware of your child’s online usage and applications through mobile devices and computers is key to keeping them safe and educated about their actions.
  1. Staying safe online: Education is the key! StaySafeOnline.org, which is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, is an excellent resource for educating yourself on all things cybersecurity-related to online practices.
  1. Always keep learning: The technology world never sleeps; it’s always changing. So is security with all that technology. You must be vigilant to stay knowledgeable with the ever-changing landscape and technology devices you use connected to this digital world. Again, at the end of the day, you are the sole person responsible for your digital life and the information you put out there!