Giving or using internet-connected devices this Christmas? Here are some safety tips from the experts at OWL.
Out and About
Keep your devices secure – they are attractive targets for thieves. If your’re out socialising or at a hotel, don’t use public Wi-Fi hotspots to do anything confidential, as you can’t assume they’re secure.Posting that the family is away over the Christmas break indicates your home is empty.
Giving your child a connected device for Chistmas? – Consider downloading a respected parental control App to block unsuitable content. Talk to them about online safety, including what they share, who they communicate with and the content they access – including apps/games. Ensure bills aren’t being run up for in-game purchases.
Before you start using your new or pre-owned internet-connected devices, ensure they’re protected with a security app/software and a PIN or passcode. Change passwords from factory ones to your own straight away to improve security – this goes for CCTV cameras, voice assistants and toys too. Combine three unrelated words for a stronger password. Download apps only from official sources such as App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store. Perform regular backups to safeguard your valuable documents, photos and files. Once backed up, disconnect the backup device from your computer. If you’re selling a device, reset it to prevent others seeing your data. Find out how from the manufacturer’s website.
Fraudsters love Christmas: beware unexpected contacts from fraudsters posing as retailers, parcel firms or your bank. Clicking on attachments or links in unexpected emails, texts or posts could infect your device or compromise your personal information. It’s fun to share good times on social media, but think before you post; could the information be used by a fraudster? Take a few minutes over Christmas to update your privacy settings.