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by admin last modified May 17, 2015 08:26 PM

SANS OUCH! for May:  Securing the Cyber Generation Gap


Many family members may not feel comfortable with technology, especially if they did not grow up with computers or the Internet. Here are steps you can take to help secure the generation gap.  In addition, you may be taking steps to secure your children at home, but similar security measures may not exist when your kids visit a relative’s house.  As such, we will also cover how you can help create more secure online environments when your kids visit these relatives.

Social Engineering
Explain the concept of social engineering in simple terms that anyone can understand. If nothing else, make sure family members understand they should never give their password to anyone or allow remote access to their computer. 

Home Wi-Fi Network
Take time to make sure the Wi-Fi network at their home is secured.  At a minimum, make sure the default admin password has been changed, there is a strong password to access the home Wi-Fi network. Consider configuring the Wi-Fi network to use a secure form of DNS, such as

Keeping systems current and fully up-to-date is one of the most fundamental steps you can take to securing any technology.

People  make  mistakes. We sometimes click on or install things we probably should not have.  While anti-virus cannot stop all malware, it does help detect and stop the more common attacks.

Strong passwords are key to protecting both devices and any online accounts.  Walk your family members through how to create strong passwords.  Passphrases may be easiest for them to both use and remember.  Another idea is to install a password manager and teach them how to use it.  If that does not work, perhaps teach them to write their passwords down, and then store those passwords in a secure location that only they can access. You may also want to set up two-step verification for any critical online accounts.

When all else fails, backups will save the day.  Make sure family members have a simple, reliable file backup system in place.

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