Your home security is only as strong as its weakest member. You might know about traffic encryption, proxy firewalls, SSL certificates, etc. Still, if your kid doesn’t know a dangerous website from a safe one and your spouse is using “password” as a password, your home is vulnerable to attack.
Before you approach the younger or less tech-savvy members of your household, you might develop a strategy for your digital home security, so you know how each family member will be responsible for maintaining security moving forward. Your security strategy should encompass digital technologies in your home, and you can integrate physical security if you do not already have home security precautions in place.
Building a strategy beforehand will help you acquire all the tech gadgets and software you will need, and it will help you become familiar with these tools so you may instruct others in their proper use. Additionally, you can talk to other decision-makers in your home, like your spouse, to ensure they are on board with your security strategy and don’t have any questions or concerns you neglected to consider.
You want your family to take digital security seriously, so you might start by addressing the threats impacting your network, devices, and data. You can talk about the consequences of a cyberattack, using examples that they might understand. Kids and teens, for example, might be more willing to take cybersecurity seriously if you mention that a ransomware attack might destroy their social media accounts, photos, and school assignments.
Then, you can describe the form that threats can take. You can show your family members examples of untrustworthy emails and social media messages, often containing typos or strange-looking links. You might also talk about phishing and social engineering, which involves hackers tricking users into revealing sensitive information like passwords. When your family members understand digital threats and how they can be devastating, they will take your security strategy more seriously.
A 17-year-old might be allowed to stay out past 10 PM, but a 10-year-old needs to be in bed by 8. Likewise, you need to set digital boundaries for different family members to ensure everyone has an appropriate responsibility for maintaining strong cybersecurity. For example, your teenager might have their laptop in their room, but younger children might need to be supervised on the family computer. You can set different parental controls on different computers to restrict who visits what websites. It would help if you prevented others in your household from downloading and installing programs without your permission.
Your digital behavior should serve as a model for how others in your family behave with their digital devices. Thus, it would help to avoid the temptation to skip essential security precautions. You should keep strong passwords on all your accounts, maintain encryption of the home network, keep sensitive information off social media, and more. In social media, as in other aspects of life, your family members look to you for guidance, so you should act how you expect them to work when cybersecurity.
Given the significant cybercrime, you will likely be impacted by a cyberattack shortly. If a family member does something that results in an attack, there is no reason to yell or impose severe punishments. Accidents happen; even the most secure organizations succumb to cybercrime. It is much better to work with your family to recover from the attack, using ransomware removal tools to restore data and rebuild your home’s digital security. You can talk about how the family member deviated from the security strategy so they aren’t likely to make the same mistake twice.
Every user on your home network has some responsibility for maintaining its security. When you are confident that every household member understands and upholds digital security, you can relax and enjoy using your devices and data.