Securing Your Information

The term, risk management, covers many areas in an individual and business owner’s life. The idea of risk management can encompass property, health and financial assets. It should also entail cyber security.
It is critical to secure financial and personal data against cyber theft, but as we keep experiencing directly or reading about in the news can make it difficult. The following are some steps you can take to protect your significant information.

Since the Equifax data breach have you reviewed your credit report? You can get a free credit report every 12 months. Each of the credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian will provide one upon request. If your situation warrants, it may be necessary to increase the frequency of credit reviews.

Take steps to improve your security access to various platforms. Where possible, create two-step authentication procedures. This means that in addition to a password, incorporate a second layer of protection with a message via text or email.

Use a program to scan incoming mail for viruses or problem links. Use caution when clicking on embedded links in emails. In web search engines it’s recommended to be as clear as possible with the search terms. One-word searches may result in scam websites, so double-check URLs for suspicious spellings.

When instructing children on cyber security it may be necessary to focus on the expectations between the parent and the child. Many times, the parents will think that established rules are being followed while the child doesn’t understand the rule.

From the National Cyber Security Alliance there are some recommended steps for parents and children who access the internet.

* Make rules that can be enforced: It’s easy to create a laundry list of rules. Making rules that are impractical to follow or enforce won’t make young people safer or more secure and can create a situation where rules lose meaning and parents become disengaged. For example, as a majority of teens have online accounts that their parents aren’t aware of, rules requiring advance permission before creating accounts are likely to be broken and unenforceable. Before setting a rule, think about whether it will significantly improve your children’s safety and how you can keep the lines of communication on the issue open.
* Have a core set of rules the whole family follows: The most impactful rules are those that apply equally to everyone. So, create a set of rules that everyone in the family is expected to follow. For example, limiting use of devices during meal times or other times spent together as a family, practicing discretion when sharing personally identifiable information about family members, and seeking permission from one another before sharing information, such as posting photos on social networks.
* Make rules together and change them over time: Young people may surprise you with how much they already know about being safer and more secure online. Ask them about the rules they have made for themselves and the practices they currently follow. Then have them establish rules they can commit to following. Make sure that the rules evolve as your children grow. What is an appropriate rule for a 10-year-old may not be appropriate for a teen, so periodically revisit your expectations.

Another key component to safe and secure use of internet and apps is for parents speaking with their kids about their concerns. Kids sharing what their concerns are regarding privacy and preventing the sharing of data without permission can offer parents an opportunity to discuss what they’ve done to enhance their account security. Or maybe it’s something the family can research and implement together.