2020 has propelled us into a new digital reality – one where we are reliant on technology to help us maintain our way of life. This forced all age groups, from 8-80, to learn how to conduct their day-to-day online. I personally had my mother asking a million questions about how to video conference!
But while we’re all looking to remain connected, we need to also focus on staying protected. For those of us a little more tech-savvy, that means helping our family and friends learn how this new digital reality impacts online security.
Let’s examine what that entails.
Keeping Personal Health Private
Digital healthcare’s rise was predicted back in January when Bain & Company reported that 40% of U.S. physicians expect to start using telemedicine over the next two years. Then came COVID-19, which drove healthcare providers to turn toward digital options to deliver socially distanced patient care. Many PCPs moved almost entirely to telehealth, with half of those surveyed using telemedicine in over 75% of their patient care.
While telehealth significantly increases patient care availability, there are also intrinsic privacy and security risks that go along with it. For example, telehealth requires that patients submit their health information through online platforms – some of which lack the proper data safeguards and don’t meet HIPAA requirements. Like all data transferred over the internet, private health information used for telemedicine could be intercepted by hackers if users don’t take proper security precautions. This means ensuring you and your loved one employ best practices – locking your platform account with a strong password, ensuring you only give your personal information to your doctor or verified resource, etc. These simple steps from McAfee experts are more important than ever before, as the healthcare industry is a preferred target for criminals.
Supporting Students Distance Learning
School may be back in session, but it looks pretty different than previous years. For parents, this means navigating the unknown terrain that is a virtual classroom – and how the new environment affects your family’s online security.
Distance learning has led to a substantial spike in online video conferencing tools to conduct virtual lectures – which is only compounded by the fact that kids are already constantly on devices to play and socialize. However, some of the tools they use have proven to lack necessary security measures, which could jeopardize your students’ academic success and online security. Beyond video platform concerns, the combination of increased personal device usage on not-as-secure home networks poses a threat of its own.
Parents must ensure their students succeed – at both school and security. While they’re helping kids adjust to distance learning, parents can help keep them safe online by conducting router firmware updates, changing any default passwords on home networks, and leveraging a VPN. Additionally, parents must teach kids good security hygiene, such as always updating an app or device when an update is available. With parents juggling so much right now, they can also look for some extra support in the form of a comprehensive security solution that covers all their family’s devices with an extra layer of protection.
Bank Online Without Prying Eyes
Many consumers have adopted digital financial services to make contactless payments or participate in online banking – some for convenience, others to help minimize contact in light of recent events. However, as this tech grows, so does the need for up-to-date security.
As users incorporate digital financial services into their everyday lives, they may fall victim to the risks commonly associated with making online payments. My mother, for example, is new to mobile banking and doesn’t know to look out for targeted phishing attacks from hackers who are trying to trick her out of money. Even the most tech-savvy online banking users can fall victim to more sophisticated phishing schemes out there.
To ensure cybercriminals don’t trick my mom into sharing sensitive information by impersonating her bank, we’ve discussed some ways she can identify an attack. Now, she knows to always hover over suspicious links, avoid interacting with messages from unknown senders, and to go directly to her bank’s official website.
Securing Our New Digital Frontiers
We can use technology to adapt and grow during this time, just as long as we all employ security best practices. So, whether it be telehealth, distance learning, or digital finances, your family should always keep the aforementioned tips top of mind.
And remember – you’re not in this alone. You’ve got the support you need during this new digital reality in the form of a comprehensive security solution, McAfee® Total Protection. With this solution, consumers are safeguarded from malware with cloud-based threat protection that uses behavioral algorithms to detect new threats. It includes comprehensive internet security, multi-faceted privacy protection, and our secure VPN to ensure your family is prepared for any potential threat.
With robust, comprehensive security in place, your family’s devices will be consistently protected from the latest threats that came from our digital reality. With all these devices safe, everyone’s online life is free from worry.
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