If you want to give your dad something really useful this Father’s Day (June 15), help him tune up his PC and give him a few tips on how to increase his privacy and security online.
Get smart about passwords
Strong passwords help protect you against hackers and other cybercriminals. But even if your dad uses long combinations of letters, numbers, and other special characters to protect his email password or other online accounts, he could still be vulnerable if he doesn’t follow this guidance:
- Use different passwords for different accounts.
- Change your passwords often.
- Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
- Don’t send passwords or user names over email.
Learn to recognize scams
If your dad uses email, text messaging, or social networking websites, he’s probably encountered scams. If he knows the signs of a scam, he’s less likely to fall for them.
Scams can contain the following:
- Random links that appear to come from someone in your contact list
- Alarmist messages and threats of account closures
- Promises of money for little or no effort
- Deals that sound too good to be true
- Requests to donate to a charitable organization after a disaster that has been in the news
- Bad grammar and misspellings
For more information, see How to recognize phishing email messages, links, or phone calls.
Get security updates automatically
One of the best ways to protect your dad from Internet threats is by making sure he’s getting all the latest security updates for his operating system and other software.
Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. Open Windows Update to confirm that your dad has automatic updating turned on and that he’s downloaded and installed all the latest critical and security updates.
If your dad still uses Windows XP, he’s no longer receiving security updates. Encourage him to upgrade his operating system or buy a new PC. You or your dad might be able to save $100 on a new computer today.