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How to keep your data safe

Why cybersecurity is so important

The internet is an invaluable resource in your family's modern digital life, woven into everything from homework to healthcare to shopping. But it also has spawned increasing dangers that require us to be vigilant about keeping our data secure. Here are some tips to help keep your family safe online.

Strategies for keeping your online experience secure

Use strong passwords


Strong passwords usually include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or pet names. If managing multiple passwords seems overwhelming, consider using a reputable standalone password manager or one incorporated into robust antivirus software such as Webroot.


Arm yourself against online scams


Online scams are getting more sophisticated and widespread. You might encounter phishing emails that look like they're from real organizations, fake websites promising unbelievable deals, or requests for personal information through social media or messaging apps. Always double-check the authenticity of any requests before giving out sensitive information.


Guard your online reputation carefully


What you post online can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life. Employers and universities often check social media profiles before making decisions. Teach your children about the importance of online reputation. Emphasize the need to think before you post, adjust privacy settings on social media to limit who can see your information, and encourage regular monitoring of their online presence. Explain that digital content, once posted, is difficult to remove, and even more difficult to reclaim.


Protect your personal data and privacy


Personally identifiable information is valuable to cybercriminals, so it's crucial to share only necessary information online. Review the privacy policies of websites and apps to understand how your data will be used and protected. Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible and use secure, encrypted connections (https) to safeguard your information from being intercepted by malicious actors. If you are routinely on public Wifi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) such as Webroot WiFi Security for protecting all your devices.

Tips for keeping children safe online

Follow the effective  strategies highlighted each June by the online safety community as part of Internet Safety Month:


Teach your child about cyber safety


Explain the importance of strong passwords, how to recognize phishing attempts, and the importance of not sharing personal information online. Encourage critical thinking and skepticism when encountering suspicious messages or requests.


Encourage them to be open about asking for help or letting an adult know if they make a mistake online and are concerned about something. Also encourage them to speak up if something seems suspicious or makes them uncomfortable. 


Secure youngsters' online time


Children are particularly vulnerable to online threats, such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and interactions with strangers. Install parental control software to monitor and restrict your child's online activities. Help your child understand that the person behind a social media profile may not be who they appear to be.


Explain the dangers of cyberbullies and predators


Make sure to explain the dangers of sharing personal information online and advise your child not to communicate with strangers. Besides cyberbullying and online predators, another serious concern is online trafficking. Traffickers often target vulnerable individuals, including children and teens, through social media platforms, online gaming communities, and chat rooms.


Educate your child about common tactics that traffickers use, such as manipulation, false promises, and threats. Teach them how to recognize and respond to suspicious behavior. Encourage them to come to you or another trusted adult if they encounter anything that makes them uncomfortable online. Learn the warning signs that your child may be the target of cyberbullying.


Encourage caution when navigating social media platforms


Social media platforms are a common way for children and teens to connect with friends and share their lives, but they can also pose risks. Teach your child about privacy settings and encourage them to only accept friend requests from people they know. Discuss the importance of thinking before posting and the potential consequences of sharing too much personal information online. 

Why data backups are critical

Data breaches are a common occurrence, so it's essential to take steps to protect your data. Keep your devices and software updated with the latest security patches. When it comes to protecting your digital life, a reliable backup service is indispensable. Consider using Carbonite, which offers cloud backup solutions tailored for both personal and business use. Follow the best practices highlighted annually on World Backup Day.


Still skeptical about whether you need to back up your data? Consider these common causes of data loss:


  • 67% of data loss is caused by hard drive crashes or system failure
  • 14 percent of data loss is caused by human error
  • 70% of small businesses go out of business within one year of a data loss incident
  • 1 out of 10 laptops are stolen


For more topics on safeguarding your digital life, go to our 'How-To' library.

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