6 tips to protect holiday tech

Emma McGowan 18 Dec 2023

Security advice for brand new devices this holiday season

The holiday season often brings the excitement of receiving or gifting the latest tech gadgets, from smartphones to laptops and internet-connected devices. The thrill of starting with a brand-new device, free from smudges and clutter, is unmatched.  

However, it's essential to recognize that with these new tools and toys come potential threats to your online security and privacy. Whether you're the giver or recipient, it's crucial to consider how to protect your family's digital well-being after unwrapping those shiny new devices. Here are six tips to ensure your holiday hardware begins its journey on the right foot:

1. Secure your wifi network

Start by connecting your new device to your private Wi-Fi network. Give your network an appropriate name and profile to assist with identification and security management. A private network adds an additional layer of security, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to your device and data.

2. Keep your device updated

Ensure that your device is running the latest updates, including hardware, operating system (OS), and any apps you intend to use. Avoid procrastinating on updates, as they often contain critical security patches that protect your device by addressing vulnerabilities. Regularly check for and install updates to keep your gadget secure.

3. Invest in security and privacy software

Installing security and privacy protection software is a vital step to safeguard your new tech. Consider using comprehensive solutions like Avast One, which offers protection for computers and mobile devices, ensuring the safety of your entire family. These software suites typically include features like antivirus, anti-malware, and privacy controls to keep your devices secure. 

4. Strengthen account login security

Most new devices are connected to online accounts, such as Apple iCloud, Amazon, or Microsoft. Strengthen the security of these accounts by using strong passwords or passphrases. For an added layer of protection, set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) using an authenticator app. MFA significantly enhances your account's security by requiring multiple forms of verification to log in.

5. Review privacy settings

Take the time to review and adjust your device's privacy settings. Ensure that these settings are configured to protect your privacy, your family, and your home by limiting access to sensitive information. For instance, if your device has a camera or other smart home components, avoid leaving them set to "public" mode to prevent unauthorized access.

6. Enable family safety controls

If you're setting up a device for children or elderly loved ones, prioritize their safety and privacy by enabling family safety controls. These settings vary depending on the device and platform but often allow you to restrict access to certain content and websites. Additionally, set up spending limits to prevent unexpected charges and configure parental controls to block inappropriate apps and sites. 

Starting the holiday season with new tech devices is undoubtedly exciting, but it's equally important to prioritize your family's online security and privacy. By following these six essential tips, you can ensure that your holiday hardware not only provides endless enjoyment but also offers a safe and secure digital experience for everyone. Embrace your new gadgets with confidence, knowing that you've taken the necessary steps to protect your family's digital well-being during this joyful season. 

Further reading:
Cyber shopping tips for the holiday season
7 scams targeting holiday shoppers

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