As someone who pretends to know tech, it can be a hair-pulling experience watching the blatant disregard people you care about have for privacy & security online. Unsecured Wi-Fi named
Sturbucks? seems legit 🤦♀️. They might not know the dangers all around and need someone to watch out for them.
You want to help them be more secure, but it’s easy to come at it wrong. Online privacy and security is a deep rabbit hole, and you can quickly drop people in over their head. If the task becomes daunting, or your approach makes them defensive, they likely won’t bother. Instead of hammering them with information and tasks, follow the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule): start with the simple actions which have a large effect on reducing their vulnerability. In under an hour, you can work through these 4 steps and stop your friends & family from being the low-hanging fruit baddies love.
Password1everywhere. Make it take longer than a second for malicious people to cause trouble. If they aren’t comfortable using a password manager, don’t berate them. Using a password notebook or formula is just as good. It’s not about having a perfect tool, it’s about having one that works better than not having one . The number of people able to access a notebook in their room is a lot smaller than those who can crack accounts with crap passwords. Password managers aren’t for everyone , so think about their circumstances and tech literacy before assuming that’s the best option. Your goal is only to get them set up. As time goes on they can slowly migrate to their chosen solution rather than feeling forced to change everything right away.
The process doesn’t end here, there is still a lot for them to learn and explore. Don’t be a condescending techie, be encouraging and answer their questions. In under an hour, you’ve helped them lay the foundation to better protect themselves online. Pat yourself on the back, and go help the next person sending money to Nigerian princes.
Finished all the ideas from above? Great, you’re a star! If you want to keep going and delve deeper into privacy and security, keep going with these bonus tips & tasks.
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