Help dad with privacy and security this Father’s Day

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.

For more information on how to use passwords to increase your safety, see Create strong passwords and Protect your passwords.

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.

Learn more about how to get security updates automatically

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.


About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

Join the conversation

  1. Anonymous

    As a 66 year old (and father), I am afraid I find this rather patronising. If anything, it is often the young who are lax in their attitude toward security. We're not all silly old duffers – some of us from this generation got men to the Moon.



  2. Anonymous

    With CONSIDERATELY  less computing power than todays generation wear on their wrists!!!

  3. Anonymous

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dave´s comment above. The older we are the more security conscious we tend to be. We are mostly also fortunate enough to realise the value of personal spoken conversation which causes us to look at and speak to people in the flesh rather than to spend most of our free time gawking at our mobile phone or sending text messages on the move (an easy way to walk into a lamp post).

    For me to type this is an exception…….

  4. Anonymous

    Well done Dave, like you so rightly said 'we are not all duffers' I started with the Amstrad and progressed to the desktop about 30years ago, I will be 90 this year and apart from surfing the web I find that I am keeping in touch with friends and family around the world, something I wouldn't be doing with no pc. I also enjoy looking for bargains on e-bay!!.

  5. Anonymous

    LIKE IT! All the 'elderly' folks on here seem to be on the same wave length… how dare they pretend that our 'offspring' can show us something we don't already know… what's that expression about 'teaching your grandmother to suck eggs'?? I'll be '76' in Sept this year and have been associated with computers since 1967 when I was in the USAF. Like most of you, I too have had a 'PC' for many years and 'listen' to all the good advice from various sources as well as putting them into practise! 3 Cheers for the 'Silver Surfers' brigade and long may it last…

  6. Anonymous

    There is no start menu in new Windows. Most clients that have dads do not want the OS that currently is released. Most are either downgrade to Windows XP or keeping their old systems.

    The older the generation than the hard to accept the change. This is a HUGE change that everyone should avoid it at cost. Windows 8 and 8.1 and 8.1 upgrade are bad to the core.

    Stick with Windows Xp. Most clients are doing that. If it works, use it until it breaks full. It is a waste to get something new when the old works better than the new.

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