How Cybersecurity Impacts Your Home’s Safety
In the 21st century, security is a major concern. Most people know the importance of making sure their property is secured by locking their doors and windows, installing door barricades, utilizing a security system, and being aware of their surroundings. There is one aspect of home security that many people leave out: cybersecurity. In today’s connected world, what you do online has real-life consequences. Physically securing your home is a great first step, but making sure your digital profile is protected from criminals is also important.
Clean Up Your Social Media
Most people are active on at least one social media platform. They are a great way to connect with friends and family, but not without risk. Some social media apps like Snapchat, Tinder, and Facebook can display your location to others. It’s important to turn these settings off or to trusted friends only to make sure cybercriminals are not tracking your location.
Even if an app doesn’t display your location, you could be giving away too much information on social media. Many people post identifying information on social media, such as where they live, work, go to school, and even addresses and phone numbers. Somebody looking to harm you or your family could use this information in their strategy of attack.
You should also be wary of the photos you post on your social media accounts. Many people document their lives through photos, which is okay. However, if you have pictures of your house, the places you visit, your car, your school or other areas, attackers can use this information against you. It’s best to save these photos for a private collection and actively make an effort to take photos that are less identifying.
Protect Your Devices
Another important aspect of protecting yourself is protecting your devices. If criminals are able to hack into your devices, they will find a plethora of information about you and your family. If your network is broken into, the criminal could have access to any webcams in your home or on your devices, smart appliances, security systems and more. For example, in 2019 some Ring home security cameras were hacked into, allowing cybercriminals to see the camera feeds, as well as where the cameras were located in the house. This is a gold mine for any criminal.
Mobile phones pose a unique risk. Not only do most phones contain a camera and a large amount of personal information, but they can also provide a criminal with the user’s location in real time. This is a huge security risk, since we mostly carry our mobile devices with us everywhere we go. The best way to prevent this kind of attack is by investing in an antivirus program. These programs block hackers from getting into your network, as well as alert you of any suspicious activity or malware.
Teach Children Good Habits
Today’s youth will spend much of their time connected to the Internet, whether it may be for work, school, or play. However, children do not understand the significance of cybersecurity in an adult would. This means it is extra important to teach them the importance of protecting their online identity, for both their future reference and their current Internet use.
The best way you can inform your children is to have frequent talks about the importance of cybersecurity best practices. It may also be beneficial to invest in parental control software that allows you to monitor children’s web activity and block unsafe or inappropriate sites. Teach your children that it’s okay to come to you or a trusted adult if they encounter something suspicious online, and to never give out information over the Internet.
Home security has changed significantly, and now includes a prevalent cyber element. By paying attention to both your physical property and cyber identity, you can ensure you and your family will remain safe.