Keep your devices clean and safe

Keep a clean machine

Our homes are becoming more and more connected to the internet, with tablets, computers and gaming devices, smart appliances and household fittings. The convenience of being able to turn your lights on from your smartphone or browse the web on your TV brings with it the increased responsibility to protect your home and family from malicious attackers online. 

There are many easy steps you can take to protect your privacy at home, and stay connected online. The easiest is to make sure your devices and your wireless network are as safe as possible. 

  1. Keep software up-to-date – Make sure you install patches as they are released and app updates.
  2. Use an antivirus program – There are free anti-virus programs for your desktops and laptops available. Make sure you have one that can scan your email and attachments as they are downloaded.
  3. Configure a firewall – If you have a router, you can set it up to use a firewall. Then, only the devices that you own can use your network. Windows and virus checkers often have built-in firewalls which you should enable. 
  4. Use a strong password on your wi-fi router – A long and seeming random set of letters, symbols and numbers is hard to guess.
  5. Review the security settings on your apps – Games don’t need access to your calendar. A weather app doesn’t need access to your contacts. Make sure the apps you use only use the features that make sense.
  6. Install ad and cookie blocking browser extensions – Stop the trackers from following your footsteps around the web. Ad and cookie blocking browser extensions keep your computer ‘clean’ and your online activities private.
We hope you find these tips useful! Keep an eye on future posts for more about how you, your family and your colleagues can stay safe online.
 
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and this first week’s theme is Cyber Safety Starts at Home. For more information about
NCSAM and StaySafeOnline, please visit staysafeonline.org/ncsam