In addition to the many things that occupy our minds in 2023 (the price of eggs, work-life balance, etc.), people must consider things that a previous generation did not even contemplate—cybersecurity threats and risks. The potential dangers start early and follow us throughout our lives. To help manage these threats, outlined below are cybersolutions for these different phases of life:
- Early to mid-adult
- Adult to empty nest
- Senior living
For children, one of the most challenging aspects for protection is peer pressure as kids mature from kindergarten to high school. It shows up with things like social media (TikTok, Instagram), communication (text, TV), and devices (phones, tablets). With parents of young kids, there are a few solutions to consider. Purchase watches and phones designed for young children that only have phone, text, GPS, and emergency alert capabilities enabled on the device—essentially, the bare necessities needed in this day and age. Gabb Wireless™ has plans that cater to safety for both phones and watches, helping kids stay away from social media and internet sites that are not appropriate. At home, most internet providers have security settings to filter content and times to help manage access for parents. Finally, families should consider private photo albums in lieu of Facebook or Instagram. For example, use shared albums with a closed network instead of mass sharing to social media sites to help protect the innocent.
Early to mid-adult may be one of the most difficult times to protect innocent minds. Staying away from social media is one of the best things to do, which is easier said than done. Some social media platforms, such as TikTok, have received security concerns at a national level. A number of states do not allow their employees to have TikTok, and Congress is considering legislation to outlaw it altogether. You can read our recent alert, “TikTok Under Federal & State Scrutiny,” to learn more about recent happenings at the federal level.
Adult to empty nest threats are most tied to email scams such as phishing attempts and other threats. Consider obtaining an Office 365 license, which includes a tool, Proofpoint, to filter emails to help reduce the risk from scams and phishing attempts. In return, this helps provide more security than free email accounts.
Finally, senior living threats take the form of “elder abuse” and the largest threats involve theft related to phishing and scamming attempts and taking advantage of seniors who may not be familiar with these types of cyberthreats. One approach is to consider a tablet such as GrandPad, which gives seniors the ability to perform voice and video calls and share family photos through a closed private network of people, all while using their own internet connections, which can significantly reduce the risk of a scamming attempt. The contacts can be added and managed so that only family and friends are allowed to communicate with them through the device.
Considering some of these solutions and periodically evaluating your own personal situation can help prevent future scams throughout the phases of life. If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to a Cyber professional at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below.