5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Family's Internet Security
Protecting your family's security while connected to the internet is an essential concern in today's world. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Victims of Identity Theft report from 2016, 10% of people over the age of 16 were victims of identity theft in 2015.
Fraudsters have doubled down on their efforts to steal information that can help them use your identity. According to the FBI, these fraudsters can use more than just your social security numbers and dates of birth to open and hijack accounts in your name. They can also use Medicare numbers, passport numbers, addresses, birth and death certificates, financial account numbers and passwords to steal your identity.
All this information can be stolen from an unsecured internet connection. That is why it is essential that you protect your family from nefarious hackers who want to steal this kind of data.
To that end, we have compiled this list of the five easiest ways to keep your family secure while online.
#1 Add Antivirus Protection to All Internet Connected Devices
Most people have antivirus software such as Norton or McAfee on their computers. Yet, many often forget to add this same protection to their smartphones, tablets and other internet-connected devices. Any device that you use go online can be hacked, allowing the hacker access to any identifying info associated with any accounts accessed on that device. Antivirus software protects you and your computer from viruses, malware, worms and other threats.
#2 Use Secure Messaging Apps
Unsecured messaging apps expose your private communications to monitoring by the large corporations that own them and their employees. These entities have access to read your activity and messages making your confidential information open for identity thieves to take. Secure messaging apps, on the other hand, use encryption to ensure your messaging is completely private.
#3 Use a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts the internet connection on your devices which hides your actual IP address and gives you one to hide behind. This protects any information that you transfer over a public internet connection such as Wi-Fi. Look at it this way, a firewall protects the data on your computer and a VPN protects it while on the web.
#4 Identity Theft Protection
To add additional security to your Social Security number, you can freeze it. This prevents anyone from accessing any of the three credit reports without permission. Creditors will not open a new line of credit without first checking these reports. Add to that an identity theft service that alerts you when somebody tries to use your identifying information in any way and you have doubled your level of protection.
#5 Use Password Management Software
This allows you to store and manage long complex passwords for all your family's devices on an encrypted platform. By storing your passwords this way, hackers cannot use those passwords to access your information.
Generally, make sure that you exercise caution while using the internet. You lock your car in a parking lot. You lock your front door when you leave for the day or go to bed for the night. It just makes sense that you should lock up personal information as securely when you are online.