5 Tips for teaching your parents about online safety

When you come to think about how some older people deal with new technology (like your parents for example), you realize that some start using the Internet relatively easy while for others it can be quite a challenge.

One thing’s certain, no matter which category was parents belong to; they want to make use of the Internet with the intention of staying virtually closer to you. They want to be able to access any pictures or videos that you may post at the social media, contact you electronically or even use services like Google search and look for whatever interests them, like medical advice. They sure love the option to pay bills online and not having to spend hours waiting in lines for that.
It’s fine that your parents want to use this technology for the benefits it offers, but we should not forget that their IT skills are basic and certainly not enough to protect themselves against online threats.

Here’s where you come in. You should consider it your responsibility to not leave your parents at the mercy of a cyber-attacker and take the time to teach them about online security, in its most basic form, not using many technical terms.
Need some tips to help you get this done? Here you go:

1) Explain (in their own language) what Information security is
The truth is that techy terms won’t help much. On the contrary the will confuse your parents more. So, you need to restrict the use of such terms to the minimum possible and revert to using simple examples from the everyday life.

Try to explain to them that protecting your personal information, bank account information etc. is as important as protecting your car, house etc. Give them the example of a cyber-criminal trying to access their personal information being the same as a burglar attempting to get in their house and rob them.

2) Give them convincing examples of getting compromised
You could:
Teach them what spam is and how to organize their mailbox
Advise them to not download anything they are not absolutely sure they need
Advise them to warn you before installing anything on the computer, so you can review if it’s safe
Tell them what can happen if they click on an ad that contains malware

3) Teach them to be vigilant
One thing your parents should always keep in mind when they are online is that they should be vigilant. You should teach them how to respond to different types of threats (identity theft, phishing, credit card fraud etc.).

4) Show them how simple safety features work
A basic lesson that you should give to your parents is about password management. They should learn how to store their password in a safe place and also how they can setup a password for their computer. There are some resources online; you can ask them to follow those guides so they can read more on their own.

5) Install a silent patching tool
When your parents start using a computer, it is quite likely that they will disturb you almost every time they receive application and security update prompts. This can be avoided with the use of a silent patching tool, leaving you at ease and certain that your parents’ systems are secure.

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