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Keep Your Family Safe Online

Online Safety

From my friends at All Clear ID.

The Department of Homeland Security has designated October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). This is our official opportunity to take some time and think about protecting ourselves and our families online. The NCSAM message this year is “Stop. Think. Connect.”

  • Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
  • Think: Take a moment to be certain the path is clear ahead. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s safety.
  • Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

The StaySafeOnline.org website has tons of information and tips, as well as ideas for home, school, and businesses. Here are some of our favorite tips from their site:

  • Talk to your kids about good online safety and security habits, including protecting their personal information and their reputation. Let them know that they can come to you if they see anything on their computer that makes them uncomfortable.
  • Go to your favorite search engine and search for your name and other family members to see what is on the web about you. Take remedial steps when needed.
  • Use long, complex passwords for both your computer and your network router that include numbers, symbols and letters, and change them periodically.
  • Remember your mobile device may also be connected to the Internet, so employ the same online safety behaviors when “surfing” on a mobile device.

Read The Ultimate Guide to Safe Online Browsing.

For other current reads, How to Protect Your Kids Online for Cloudwards.net and 21 Terrifying Cyber Crime Statistics from VPNGeeks.com.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

10 Comments

  1. Seana Turner on October 7, 2019 at 9:11 am

    This is a good motto to keep in mind. I feel for the parents of young children these days because it is almost impossible to protect them from the craziness online. I think your point about talking with your children (when they are old enough) is so critical. Inevitably they will face moments when they exposed to “unsafe” digital environments, and you want them to see you as an ally in helping them navigate safely through. I know I feel unsettled about the extent to which I am being watched and tracked, and I’m an adult. I worry that today’s young people are accepting a reality in which privacy is not expected. Not sure where they will all end up.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 8, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      Very “1984” Seana. I feel that children don’t understand the dangers.

  2. Linda Samuels on October 7, 2019 at 11:25 am

    I grew-up in a different world from today. There is a multitude of privacy concerns and they will only increase as time goes on. Many people are using AI with products like Alexa. But the scary part is how those apps are always on and listening. While they offer certain conveniences, they don’t provide privacy. I have to admit that I frequently use Siri (an Apple-based AI assistant) to help me send emails and make calls. And it is beneficial, especially when I’m in the car. However, I also recognize that Siri is also always listening. And strange things have happened like certain ads popping up in my feed because of something Siri might have heard.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 8, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      I think we’ve all come to accept the intrusion in some form, but it’s still creepy.

  3. Sabrina Quairoli on October 7, 2019 at 11:53 am

    This post is super important for everyone, especially for the under 18-year-olds. It’s critical to explain to them to make all their social site pages private and only accept a friend when you know them outside of the internet. Don’t sugarcoat the dangers of the internet and who may be watching. Thanks for sharing this important reminder.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 8, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      I think that young adults who have grow up with all this intrusion are more comfortable with it. Scary!

  4. Nancy Haworth on October 7, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you for these helpful tips about how to protect ourselves and our families online.

  5. Janet Barclay on October 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Wow, as if being a parent wasn’t challenging enough! I’m glad that our kids were teens by the time we had the internet, and the computer was right in the front room so we didn’t have to wonder what they were doing.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 16, 2019 at 7:04 am

      We had the same. Back in the day there were no tablets or smart phones. Also, I don’t remember so many threats.

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