5 New Year’s resolutions to make your family smarter and safer with technology

New apps, websites and devices will enter your life this year with the promise to make it easier. Cybercriminals will also use them to widen the diversity of their attack portfolios.

Stay on the safe side and develop some good habits that will save you money, time and worries.

Get smart(er) about your passwords – Using a weak password or the same password for multiple accounts can get you in a lot of trouble. You know it, but maybe you have postponed checking or changing your passwords. Let’s not forget to also change the default password for any new smart device you plug into your home network. Take a moment to review your credentials and minimize the risk of having them stolen or guessed. Ideally, you want to use a mix of characters, numbers and symbols with your own system and choice of words or phrases that will make it easy to remember. You can check its strength with a password-checking software. Create a different password for each online account and use two- or multi-factor authentication systems wherever they are available.

Protect your digital identity. Whenever you visit a website, you leave a “footprint”. In time, your digital identity builds upon a variety of factors, such as login credentials, personal information, online transactions, browsing history, IP address, apps you use and so on. This digital „You” is a gold mine for advertisers and hackers, but it’s a disaster to your privacy if exposed. Check if your email accounts are breached or compromised from a data breach and secure them. Change your passwords regularly, stay alert to scams and phishing, and be cautious of inputing credit card data or sharing personal information.

Consider using a VPN to protect your privacy and data even more.

Secure all your family’s smart devices, from toys to laptops. Cyberattacks on IoT devices are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. In 2019, researchers measured a 300% increase in attack traffic to more than 2.9 billion events, according to Forbes. And the experts predict the trend will continue.

So, install your antivirus, make your updates and use a cybersecurity solution to protect all the internet-connected devices you use.

Keep your children safe online. Experts believe children are at a mach greater danger online if they feel they can’t talk to their parents about things they don’t understand — or can’t tell them that someone has done or said something inappropriate.

Talk regularly about what they are doing online, set rules together about screentime, posting and sharing and online interactions and benefit from tools that can help you, such as parental control.

Be more offline and more meaningful online. With new devices and internet-connected gadgets entering our everyday life, it might be more important than ever to seek a balance between online and offline. You control how, and how long, you use technology. Here are some tips for digital wellness that might help you focus your energy on what matters most to you.

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