This weekend The Wall Street Journal ran a story running down a number of different ways you can fix your family’s tech problems for free this holidays season. There are a ton of good ideas on the list, but one section that caught my attention was the section on privacy and security.
My family is great at calling me and asking basic questions about how to operate their smartphones or “fix” Netflix, but they never ask questions about privacy and security — and they should.
It used to be that tracking a person involved a deep knowledge of nature, a keen eye and maybe a dog or two. Nowadays it doesn't involve more than a bit of code and a few mouse clicks. Here, we'll walk you through all the different ways your information is tracked online and how you can protect your data from prying eyes.
Use the holidays as a time to review your family’s privacy settings on Facebook and other apps, and make sure that they understand what the settings they’ve chosen mean. Depending on your family, they might not realise there are privacy settings to begin with. If grandma wants to share her posts with the world, by all means, but make sure she knows she’s set up to share things with everyone rather than just her friends.
Now is also a good idea to discuss passwords with your family. Make sure they’re using something different and unique for every site and service they use, and if it makes sense, see if you can get them moved over to a password manager to keep things secure.
While we’re all susceptible to hackers and online security issues older people tend to not be quite as savvy with how to fix them. Using the holidays to discuss the topic can save you the headache of having to deal with things down the line, and give everyone the peace of mind that they’re operating on the web safely and securely.
And the rest of that Wall Street Journal article also offers some other good suggestions, such as showing your fam hoe to make the font on their phone larger, getting everyone on the latest version of the operating system for their phone and computer, and setting up shortcuts for things they use often.
Just think: the more you do now, the less tech support you’ll have to do in 2019.