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With cybersecurity threats rising, we must protect vulnerable people in our lives, such as children and the elderly. Unfortunately, there are all types of threat actors in cyberspace, like predators, stalkers, and scammers looking to take advantage of them. Here are a few steps that may help protect your loved ones from bad actors:
Install Anti-malware software
Nowadays, every computer and device has built-in antivirus software that stops primary threats like viruses. But for emerging risks like spyware, stalkerware, keyloggers, Trojans, ransomware, and the like, you should install proactive anti-malware software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to remediate malicious software.
In addition to anti-malware software, use firewalls and a VPN subscription for network security. While a firewall will function as a network barrier, a VPN will encrypt data and mask a user’s location. For children, use child security tools to monitor their only activity.
Use Spyware Removal Tools
Stalkers, predators, and other miscreants on the Internet use different types of spyware to invade the privacy of vulnerable targets like young computer users. If you suspect that a predator, cyberbully, or troll has somehow infected your child’s computer with monitoring malware, use the best spyware remover you can find to find and crush the malicious monitoring software immediately.
Monitor Financial Data
Thieves often target vulnerable people on the Internet to commit financial crimes. They may either breach their bank accounts or apply for lines of credit, government financial programs, or loans in their names.
Remember, each major credit bureau offers one free credit report a year. Take advantage of these free reports three times a year to watch out for red flags such as fraudulent financial applications. You can also activate banking alerts that immediately notify via email or text message in case of any strange activity.
You can also request a security freeze on a child’s credit so that scammers can’t open accounts in their name. You can cancel this protective measure at any time with phone calls to the credit bureaus.
Educate Your Loved Ones
It’s a good idea to educate susceptible people in your family about cybersecurity threats. For starters, they should know to avoid suspicious websites, links, email attachments, and downloads as they may be hiding viruses and other malicious software.
They should also refrain from sharing sensitive information on social media with untrustworthy parties. Remember, some threat actors easily disguise their identity on the Internet to deceive their targets. For example, a predator may create a social media profile of a much younger person to befriend a child.
The older adults in your life should feel comfortable reaching out to you if a scammer targets them. Romance scams, sweepstakes scams, tax scams, and the like can deceive the elderly on the Internet, draining them of their life savings. Reacting in a timely fashion can prevent undesirable outcomes.
When educating your loved ones, please adopt the right approach. While an authoritative tone may work with children, a more compassionate and respectful tone will connect with the elderly. In an online world teeming with privacy and security concerns, your actions can keep your loved ones safe.