Entrepreneurs are canny folk and aware of every threat posed to their business. They are keen to preempt and quash any threat to their organization, whatever form it may take. They keep a close eye on the competition and carry out regular competitor analysis to ensure they don’t lose their market share. Employees are rigorously screened before onboarding and you invest heavily in both your physical and digital security. You understand that cybercriminals are wily and devious and increasingly inventive in their efforts to exploit vulnerabilities in operations just like yours and hold their data to ransom.
Yet, as savvy as entrepreneurs are when it comes to protecting their businesses from cyber crime, they are less vigilant when they get home. While it can be hard to remember that you have a life outside of your business sometimes, it’s absolutely essential that you protect your home and your family from cyber criminals, too.
Your business isn’t the only thing that’s vulnerable to cyber crime. Here are some important ways to protect the other things that are important to you…
Use a VPN at home
Ever wondered “what is my IP?”? Ever wondered what data hackers can mine from as little as knowing your IP address? It can make for pretty scary reading. Through your IP address, cyber criminals can gain access to your ISP and from there gain access to;
- Your name
- Your address
- Your browser history
- Your phone number
- Your credit card number
- And much more
This is why it’s so essential to hide your IP address when using the internet at home. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your family safe from cyber criminals without impeding your browsing experience.
Make sure your family knows a phishing email when they see it
Phishing emails have come a long way since the days of Nigerian dignitaries flagrantly asking for your bank details (did those ever work? Apparently they still do!). Nowadays, however, phishing scams are more sophisticated and take the face of those you know and trust rather than a stranger from an exotic land.
Make sure that you and your family know the red flags associated with phishing scams such as;
- Unlikely parties asking for your password or details (your bank, the IRS etc. will never do this).
- Links to URLs that don’t match (e.g. emails from eBay that link to sites that look like eBay but don’t have eBay in the URL).
- Unexpected emails from people you know containing dubious links or attachments.
Teach your kids the dangers of oversharing on social media
Kids can be trusting to a fault. But sharing even the most innocuous seeming details can lead to identity theft. If you think that cyber criminals won’t stoop to stealing your children’s identities- think again! In fact, in many ways, kids are the perfect mark for identity thieves. It’s not like they’re always checking their credit scores.
Teach your kids the dangers of oversharing online or you could wind up with an expensive credit card bill in your 12 year-old’s name.
Think twice before buying IoT enabled devices
Finally, while the idea of a smart fridge that automatically buys the milk for you when you’re running low, devices that use the Internet of Things (IoT) can represent real security vulnerabilities. Through them criminals can gain access to your entire network… So maybe hang fire on buying one until they’re more secure.