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Kids Back To School – The Perfect Time to Audit Your Family’s Online Safety

When Aussie school opened their doors this year, the lifespan of parents around the country drastically improved. The combination of homeschooling, working from home, and not going anywhere has completely drained many Aussie working parents, me included!! Many of us have been in survival mode – just focusing on the basics to get through! 

Well, now we’re getting back to some sort of normal and we have a little more time to breathe, it’s time to focus on those overdue jobs and that includes doing an audit of your family’s online safety. Now, I know it might seem boring, but I promise you it’s worth the effort. So, I thought I’d share with you a checklist of what you need to do to ensure your family is as safe as possible when online. Let’s get started: 

1. Passwords 

Your first task is to ensure every family member has a different password for each of their online accounts. Yes, I know – that sounds completely overwhelming. But hear me out. If you have the same password for all your online accounts and you get hacked, then you could be in a world of pain – as the hacker now has access to all your online accounts!! So, this is very much worth sorting out.  

Now, there are many ways of managing a long list of passwords. You could write them down in a special, secret book. You could call on your Mensa level memory and try to remember 50 plus passwords – unfortunately, that’s not me! So, let me give you the best solution – a password manager. Password Managers can both generate and remember super complex passwords that no human could even concoct. Check out McAfee’s True Key – it’s free and a complete no-brainer, my friends! 

2. Software Updates 

Before my life as Cybermum, I used to think software updates were a massive inconvenience. Something else to add to the never-ending list. But how wrong was I! A software update addresses security flaws or bugs in the current version of the app or program. Their goal is to protect the user. So, if you’re serious about protecting your family, these updates can’t be ignored. The easiest way to manage this is to set updates to be automatic, where possible. You can also do this with apps on your phone – for both Apple and Android devices.  

3. Ensure Location Services Are Off 

Most apps, networks, and devices have geotagging features which means your whereabouts can be widely communicated if your location’s services are turned on. And don’t forget that digital photos can also give away your location as they contain metadata which is information about the time, date, and GPS coordinates of where the pic was taken. So, your job here is simple – ensure all devices have geotagging turned off. And while you’re at it, ensure your kids understand why it’s critical to keep it that way! Nothing worse than pesky strangers knowing your whereabouts! 

4. Security Software 

Not having security software installed on your devices is no different from leaving your front door unlocked. It is essential. A top-shelf security software system will detect and shut down security attacks on your system. Many will also have a firewall that constantly filters the data that both enters and leaves your computer and will block and restrict your network from viruses and hackers. It will also keep an alert to malicious software and if detected will remove issues such as viruses, worms, and Trojans. It will also stay alert to spyware that you may unintentionally download onto your system and will block and delete it if found. See what I mean? It’s essential. Check out McAfee’s Total Protection which will give you peace of mind. 

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life however there are definitely ways to minimize risk. Following the above 4 steps will have a significant positive impact on your family’s online safety and most importantly, means you can enjoy a little peace now the kids are back to school!  

Till Next Time 

Alex x