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How to Keep Your Family Safe from Cyber-Crime

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Strong tech and vigilance will be your pillars.

The frustrating part about being the “tech guy” of your family is the knowledge that your family members can download a bunch of malware when you’re not watching them. A lot of people will just grab whatever programs and extensions look mildly appealing, unaware that they’re bogging down their computer, or worse, opening it up to hacking. As annoying as it is, though, they’re probably not going to realize they’re exposed until it’s too late, so it’s up to you to keep your family digitally vigilant.

If you’ve perused the internet for a long time, you’ve likely picked up a few tricks of the trade. What not to click, how to avoid phishing scams, how to disable pop-ups, and so forth. Your mission is to instill those tidbits of knowledge into the rest of your family. Sit your family down and run a little seminar. It’s not going to be fun, and some of them probably won’t get everything immediately, but if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing thoroughly. More than anything, they need to know that careless internet behavior can put both their and your information and identity at risk. This is not something to approach halfheartedly.

In addition to instilling that sense of vigilance, you have to try and keep everyone’s hardware and software as up-to-date as possible. Strong, healthy computers are a key component in strong security. The trickiest thing is convincing someone with a dying computer to buy a new one. If you can’t get them to invest in new tech, then at least help them get the most out of what they’ve got. Help them clear out any extraneous programs and files, and install reliable antivirus programs. If you know they have a predilection for wanton software downloading, give them some ideas for safe sites to get it from.

Remember, vigilance and strong tech. You’ll be glad you spread the word. And if your family becomes a little more self-capable with their computers, well, we’ll call that a pleasant bonus.

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