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|05 February, 2019

5 tips to keep your family safe online

Using same password to log in to multiple accounts increases security risk

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cyber attack that plunged the Southeastern U.S. metropolis into technological chaos and forced some city workers to revert to paper. Image for illustrative purposes.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cyber attack that plunged the Southeastern U.S. metropolis into technological chaos and forced some city workers to revert to paper. Image for illustrative purposes.

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According to a recent survey conducted by Google in MENA for parents and teachers, parents believe that children should learn about online safety and digital citizenship when they are 10-years-old. The research also shows that 43 per cent of teachers say that parents need to do more to keep kids safe online. Additionally, 85 per cent of teachers feel that they need more resources to teach online safety to your students.

Here are some safety tips you can follow:

1. Keep your software up-to-date:

To help protect your online activity, always run the latest version of software across the web browsers, operating systems, and applications on all your devices. Some services will automatically update themselves. Other services may notify you when it's time to update.

2. Use unique passwords for your accounts:

Using the same password to log in to multiple accounts increases your security risk. It's like using the same key to lock your home, car and office - if someone gains access to one, all of them could be compromised. Create a unique password for each account to eliminate this risk and keep your accounts more secure. Along with creating unique passwords, make sure that each password is hard to guess and better yet, at least eight characters long.

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3. Set up a recovery phone number or email address and keep it updated:

Adding recovery information such as a phone number or back up email address to your account can help you get back into your account quickly, if you ever lose access or can't sign into it. Remember to update the information if you change phone number or email address.

For many web services, a recovery phone number or email address can be used to notify you if there's suspicious activity in your account, or can help to block someone from using your account without permission.

For example, if an unknown device is used to sign in to your Google account, you may be required to verify that the sign in is legitimate by entering a code that gets sent to your recovery phone number.

4. Go a step further by setting up 2-step verification:

Go one step further to secure your accounts by setting up 2-step verification, which requires you to use a second step-like entering a 6-digit code in addition to your username and password to sign in to your account.

Setting up 2-step verification will significantly decrease the chance of someone gaining unauthorized access to your account. Once you set up 2-step verification for an account, remember to be ready for the second verification step each time you sign in.

5. If you have children, talk to them about online safety early, and set digital ground rules for your households:

Just like we teach our children to drive before handing them the keys to the car, it's important to teach them the basics of online safety and citizenship before handing them a device. You can teach them about being kind online, how to make strong passwords, what is appropriate to share online with whom, how to spot online scams, and when it's time to consult a trusted adult.

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