Cyber safe device gifting 101
December 2, 2019
The holiday season is a key time for gifting devices like mobile phones, tablets and smart speakers. That also makes it a key time for cyber security. Before your family and friends arrive this holiday, make sure your network is secure with these simple steps.
You can lower the risk of exposing yourself – and the person you’re gifting the device to – by adopting some cyber security best practices. Here’s everything you need to know to ensure cyber safe device gifting.
Buy the right device
When it comes to cyber security, not all devices are created equal.
Some smart device products are designed to be easy-to-use and low-cost for the consumer. However that also means that they frequently skip out on key security features that are supposed to help you stay cyber safe.
When shopping for a new device, look for the following:
- What kind of data will be transmitted through the device
- How the device will be protecting that data
- If the device will allow you to set a custom password for accessing what’s on the phone
By looking for these security features, you can ensure you’re helping your loved ones to get cyber safe.
Show them how to secure it
Gifting someone a cyber safe device is only part of the challenge. The other part? Showing them how to secure it properly.
For example: Many devices offer password protection – a key means of protecting the information on your device.
Phones contain a lot of personal information such as web history, passwords, email, calendars, and contact information. Without a password, that information will be freely available to cyber criminals should it ever be stolen or lost.
After giving someone a device for the holidays, demonstrate how to secure it!
That means enabling the password protection feature and then manually setting your own password or PIN – never stick with the default settings.
It’s also important to enable your password auto-lock so it always locks after a short period of time of not using your mobile phone.
Those are just a few steps, though. Check out our device security checklist to learn more.
Be smart when online shopping
Gift shopping online for your device? Make sure you follow best practices for making purchases from ecommerce stores:
Be wary when you see the following:
- Prices that are way too low
- Red flags surrounding payment
- Poorly-designed sites
- Key information (such as a return policy) is missing
Secure your Wi-Fi network
The first thing the lucky recipient of a new device will want to do after receiving their gift? Log on to your Wi-Fi network so they can start using the internet right away.
The last thing you want to do is leave them susceptible to cyber threats because you didn’t secure your Wi-Fi network against cyber criminals.
There are lots of security features to look into. But at a minimum, you should at least be protecting your home Wi-Fi network with an original password.
If not, you risk leaving you – and the people you’re giving gifts to – vulnerable to cyber criminals.
The risks include:
- Accessing your Wi-Fi network allows people to access your devices
- Your unsecured browsing history, passwords and log-in info and email content can all be easily accessed.
- Your unsecured shared files can be accessed, copied or deleted.
There are also a number of other steps you should be taking to secure your Wi-Fi network as well.
The holidays are a great time to introduce a loved one to the shiniest new tech devices out there. But don’t let your excitement get in the way of staying cyber secure.
Use these tips to ensure everyone has a fun – and safe – experience during the holiday season.
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