How to Practice Cybersecurity With The Whole Family


Kids are often more concerned with Minecraft than malware.

Many people are concerned about cybersecurity when it comes to their own devices, but what if not everyone in your home has the skills to protect themselves online? Kids quickly learn how to use tech to do fun things online like connect with friends and play video games, but might not be so concerned about staying secure while doing so.

The Military Health Agency is encouraging families to "focus on cyberfitness," and on Monday released a guide all about about how to ensure you and your family's devices and information are secure.

"Many of us probably are aware of funny-in-hindsight stories about children unknowingly making online purchases with simple “buy now” clicks. But when personal information is unwittingly shared, the repercussions can be more than financial," writes Servio Medina, acting chief of the Defense Health Agency’s Cyber Security Division Policy Branch.

To start, the agency recommends creating strong passwords for all devices, and making sure everyone in the family knows the basics of password security, especially the difference between a good and bad passwords (Hint: Not 12345).

It's also recommended that you clean out mobile apps that aren't being used. For ones that are being used, make sure that you set limits on the amount of information an app can access on your devices and on your children's devices.

Families should also store and protect important information. Be sure to store vital information, like you and your children's health records, on a password-protected external drive. It's also important to make sure everyone in the family knows to share personal information wisely. Being careless with sensitive information is the easiest way to get phished.

"As the old Graham Nash song goes, we need to teach our children well," writes Medina.

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