With only a few more days until Christmas, and with many retailers advertising the latest and greatest tech for you, your family, or your children – there has never been a more important time to ensure that those shiny new devices being opened and used in the next few weeks are safe, secure, and protected.
New laptops, cell phones, tablets, smartwatches, televisions, and even kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, now have built in WI-FI or a wireless connection to access information from the internet, or have capabilities to connect to and download data to function or to enhance your experience.
Connecting to a wireless network, which connects to the internet, may seem to be the easiest (and only) way to use that new device. Now, more than ever, there is a need to protect your devices and protect your information from unauthorized access.
With that being said – here are some tips to help you and your loved ones have a safe, secure, and fun holidays
- Use a Strong Password
- ALL personal devices should have some form of password or security lock for access by authorized users only.
- Don’t use the same password everywhere (many do).
- If you are wondering where to store all these passwords, we recommend a password manager tool like such as KeePass to generate and store all your passwords.
- Protect your Home Network
- Be sure to change the default Administrator password for your Modem or Router, and secure your network with WPA or WPA2 encryption. Consult with your reference manual.
- Make sure that your Wi-Fi password is difficult to guess.
- Setup your home firewall and limit internet access. Put those kids on some digital diet. Consult with your home router manual. It is easier than you think.
- Keep Devices Up to Date
- We know how annoying update prompts and restarts are, but updates are required to keep your device safe. Make sure that you all your devices are updated at least on a monthly basis.
- Don’t use outdated software like Internet Explorer (IE).
- Keep your antivirus up to date. There are many free and good antivirus solutions out there. Avast is a good option for home.
- Practice Safe Habits
- Just got an email for an iPhone for 75% off? A vacation on the beach for $300? Are you required to click on the link to find out more? If the deal sounds too good to be true – it probably is! Receiving unsolicited emails or text messages are common methods for criminals to obtain your information as you usually are asked to provide very personal details in a form.
- When receiving an email, always double check the sender’s name. If an email has obvious spelling errors, it is probably fake.
- Never open any Word or PDF document from an email unless you are certain that it is from a trusted source.
- Back up Your Data
- If you dropped your phone or tablet and it wont power on any longer – you should have those important photos, documents, songs, or files backed up to a safe and secure location. Many online cloud storage providers can supply lots of storage for all those foodie pictures you will snap at the holiday dinners!
- Back up your home computer using a solution like WD.
- Don’t rely on your company to back up your personal pictures on their laptop.