So you're the family tech support

Privacy and online security to-dos for the home-for-the-holidays tech support hero.

privacy   cybersecurity   life  

πŸŽ„πŸŒŸ Happy holidays! πŸŒŸπŸŽ„

For those of you seeing relatives this season, chances are that you’re the designated family tech support. If part of your time home for the holidays is spent on software updates and troubleshooting WiFi, here are a few other quick wins to help boost your family’s online privacy and security.

1. Set up a VPN

Using a VPN is Online Safety 101. Choose a reputable provider with a strict no-logging policy, or if you’re up for it, roll your own.

2. Introduce a password manager

If your family member uses the same password everywhere (<petname>+<house number>, same as last year) because passwords are hard to remember, introduce them to their new best friend, 1Password. Help your family get set up with secure passwords they don’t have to write down on Post-It notes – just one master pass(phrase) is all you need.

When choosing a passphrase, avoid using information easily found on social media accounts, like pet names, favorite sports teams, favorite brands, or birthdays.

3. Switch to DuckDuckGo

Help fight the Internet search monopoly by getting your family to use a search engine that respects their privacy. Go to your browser Settings and set your Default Search Engine (that uses the URL bar) to DuckDuckGo. Break the ice with an instant answer feature, like searching “calendar” so you can count down to Christmas.

(You might want to search for “classic cocktails cheat sheet” after all this.)

4. Install a better browser and blocker

While I prefer a Pi-hole, setting one up can be complex. Instead, help set up a privacy-preserving browser like Firefox or a wide-spectrum blocking extension like uBlock Origin (GitHub source).

Your family will get faster page load times, less advertisements interrupting articles and videos, and fewer sneaky trackers leaking browsing habits to big tech, all with near-zero maintenance.

Be a home-for-the-holidays hero!

Help improve your family’s security posture this holiday season. A little beefed-up cybersecurity may be one of the best gifts you can give!

I’m keeping it short-and-sweet this week. My annual Christmas post drops on December 24, full of warm fuzzy goodness and a tech tip or two. Thank you for being a subscriber – stay tuned!