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It's Computer Security Day!

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The technological world has made some advances since the first Computer Security Day in 1988.  Today’s world has been inundated with the use of computers for work, school and personal leisure. 

With sensitive and private data being stored on our devices, it’s crucial that we take steps and preventative measures in order to ensure that the data is secure from third parties. In research done by EE, three out of ten children admitted to using the same password for everything on the internet, and 22% to sharing their login details with friends. There are a number of things you can do to help minimise the risk of hackers accessing this data, and we’ve made a list with some suggestions: 

  • With the rise in the use of platforms such as Google Meets and Zoom for online teaching, our webcams are in constant use.  When those classes are done, we have the expectation that the webcam is off and there’s no invasion of privacy.  However, our webcams are also susceptible to hacking, and therefore it’s recommended that you make sure your webcam is covered when it’s not in use. Etsy has a great selection of webcam covers that you can browse here!
  • With the number of websites we make accounts for, such as social media platforms and Minecraft, Password1 may be a great password for your memory, but it doesn’t do its job very well does it?  The more complex your password, the more difficult it is for others to figure it out.  Using a multitude of different numbers, lower and upper-case letters, and symbols will give you more protection.  In order to remember these passwords, it’s best to secure them in a safe place.  An option for securing passwords is through 1Password, where you can safely store your passwords for future use. 
  • As adults, we may be able to identify suspicious emails we receive, but it’s important to teach our children what to look for because they’ve become more difficult to detect.  Valid businesses and/or people will not ask you to share sensitive information, such as your bank account details, over email.  Don’t click on links from anyone you don’t know, and although you might know the sender it’s best to type out the link into your browser as opposed to copying and pasting it.  Below you can find an example of an email that would try to trick you into providing important information. Check it out to see what to look out for!

“Over 75% of targeted cyberattacks start with an email” 

 Phishing email example

  • While there are around 1.14 billion websites in the world, there are a number of those that will lead you into dangerous territory.  When you’re accessing a website, make sure that the URL shows HTTPS - if a website only shows HTTP it is not secure and should not be accessed.  For example, when you’re on a website, there’s information that’s being shared in order for it to respond to your request of visiting that website.  If your website is HTTP, all that information is easy to access to any third party; however, the security of HTTPS makes it so that any potential hacker is only able to see a bunch of random letters, numbers and characters. 

As our use of technology increases, the recommendations above should aid you and your family in securing your privacy while using your devices.  Having a greater knowledge in digital literacy can be a great asset when trying to mitigate the risks involved with online use.  At BlueShift we’re happy to give children the opportunity to learn the key skills needed to thrive in a tech-focussed future.

If you’d like to learn about what courses we offer, please check out our website, or contact us at hello@blueshiftcoding.com.