KEEP YOUR DIGITAL LIVES AND DEVICES SAFE IN 2012
Well, I don’t know about you, but the relaxing summer days now seem like a distant memory. The crazy combination of work, kids, school, sport and social activities has returned. Plus let’s not forget the kids’ social lives!
Sometimes, when I am feeling completely strapped for time, I cut corners. I dry shirts in the clothes dryer to avoid ironing them, I use instant mashed potato and we have sandwiches for dinner.
Some of my shortcuts pay off while others don’t. The school shirts are (almost!) totally acceptable and the kids are thrilled to have sandwiches for dinner. The instant mashed potato – well, that’s always a big disaster.
But when it comes to protecting your collection of mobile phones, computers and tablets at home, taking a shortcut could end just like the instant mashed potato does – badly! Keeping your family’s personal identity and information safe when shopping, banking and interacting online is just not worth mucking around with.
So here are a few tips that may help keep your digital lives and devices safe in 2012:
1. Protect your data
The thought of losing my children’s precious baby photos just makes me feel sick. In a recent survey, Australian home Internet users estimated that their photos, contacts and entertainment (their digital assets) were worth almost AU$22,000! So find yourself a security solution that offers data backup and restore features and keep those treasured memories safe and protected.
2. Educate your family and always pay attention to your children’s online activities
Come on – be brave! Banish those computers from the bedroom and position the computer in a high-traffic area in the house. The kitchen is always a great option. And make sure you talk to your kids about what information is and isn’t appropriate to share online.
3. Don’t neglect your Apple devices
The popularity of Apple devices has led to a significant increase in threats which are currently growing by 10 per cent per month, according to McAfee labs. So please install security software that has been developed specifically for the Mac.
4. Mobile’s and tablets also need protection
Don’t assume your mobile and tablets are automatically safe – they aren’t! Threats to mobile phones are growing at a rapid rate with Android devices now the most targeted platform. Be careful when downloading apps and only download from a reputable app store. Also remember that the Internet is the Internet regardless of where you’re accessing it from, so remember to stay protected and take the same precautions as you would on your PC.
With many kids using their mobile phones to trade games and music via Bluetooth, make sure you factor their devices into your security plan as well.
Now, I know that is a lot to digest. But in the spirit of avoiding an ‘instant mashed potato style disaster’, I think it is important you have all the essential tips.
But please don’t feel overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be hard work addressing these issues. Just stay one step of the cybercriminals (and your kids!) and invest in active, comprehensive protection for all the devices you use to access the Internet. See you next time.