How to Help Others Be Safe Online

If you are reading this you are likely to be the designated technical person in your friend group or family, and even if you're not yet, you're about to become it.

This is a pretty huge amount of responsibility, being in charge of everything from printers to passwords to malware removal and phishing scams.

You're probably pretty well prepared by this point! Here are some more resources you can use to help your friends, family, and especially less tech savvy folk be safe online and get to use the magical power of the interconnected world.

Overall

If you are in charge of a small fleet of family computers and other devices, save yourself time. Turn on auto-update on all of them, run Malwarebyte, and then turn on Windows Defender. Then give them a solid writeup on immediate troubleshooting actions for the wifi router and if there computer won't log in. With that going, you probably just cut your problems in half.

The next step from there should be convincing everyone to use a password manager. By doing this you minimize the chances of them getting hit by password reuse, but more importantly they can't forget it so you have to help them through the password reset processes.

Children

If you have small children or are in charge of them, I definitely recommend placing some parental restrictions on their internet browsing and especially monitor who they are talking to. Eventually they'll want to have unrestricted access and you should give it to them, but only once you're confident they can make good (enough) decisions for themselves. For the most part, you'll really run into problems with kids downloading malware thinking that is a game/movie/tv show. I was guilty of this when I was younger, but I learned my lesson (and swore to take my revenge). The only time this is a problem is on shared family computers where your kids can get you infected. Just run anti-virus and attempt to convince them not to download and run random things, even if it gives them Robux.

Parents and the Elderly

This is where it gets critical. Instead of Robux, the elderly and other less tech savvy groups have money, and the bad guys know they are easy marks. There are many ways you can help protect them, but mostly it comes down to empowering them to think critically, while also helping them understand they shouldn't be embarrassed by anything.

Ensure they know that they can always call or text you if they receive emails with an attachment or a weird link. By making sure they aren't embarrassed by their lack of knowledge, you can guarantee there will always be a dialog which can save you a ton of time down the road.

They know about phishing for sure, but implement a rule with them that they should never give social security number, bank information, or credit card information over the phone, SMS, email, or to a website if the other side initiated the conversation. More conversations about phishing and scams, and importantly, treating them like adults who are trying their best is the way to go.

Being the tech person is a hard job, but someone has to do it.

Hopefully by now you feel ready to fill that role.