Holiday Primer: How To Protect Your Tech

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‘Tis the season for new toys and lots of photo taking, so to get you ready for the holidays we asked tech expert and parent Marc Saltzman to shares his top three tips for keeping your family’s digital devices safe from hackers, scammers, viruses and malware. Here they are.

1. Back up your important files regularly. For computers, pick up an external hard drive and make a backup of irreplaceable files (such as Christmas lists for Santa and holiday party photos). For your smartphone or tablet, synchronize your device with your computer via USB cable or back up data to an online “cloud” service that can be easily retrieved if needed.

2. Invest in good anti-malware software, which includes antivirus and anti-spyware tools, and a two-way firewall. These programs run in the background of your computer (or mobile device) and flag threats trying to get in that could do damage or prevent sensitive information from getting out.

3. Use common sense to avoid hackers, trackers and scammers. This includes using strong passwords (consisting of letters, numbers and symbols), downloading software only from trusted resources and not leaving your devices unattended. Also, don’t be tempted to act on email or text messages that ask you to reveal personal or financial information as these are likely “phishing” attempts from a scam artist.

Shopping for the tech-savvy person on your list? Here’s why you might want to reconsider buying a first-generation tech product this year.

 

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