How to put a digital twist on your favorite Halloween traditions
Halloween is looking a little different this year, as communities decide what’s safe and what isn’t in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic. And, like many of our activities now, there are ways to celebrate Halloween online — safely.
And when we say “safely,” we mean not only safely in the don’t-get-Covid sense of the word but also in the cybersecurity sense of the word. So turn down the lights, light some candles, and check out these seven tips for how to safely celebrate Halloween online.
Have a Zoom costume party.
No matter if you have kids or you’re technically “too old” for Halloween (and, sorry, but no one is too old for Halloween), everyone needs to have a bit of fun this year. Get a group of friends to commit to a Zoom costume party and then show up to show off!
If your party is adult, come up with a Halloween-themed drink that everyone can make at home and “share.” And if it’s more for the kids, do the same with cookies, candy, and punch. (Actually, while you’re at it, sweets for adult parties. We all deserve it.)
Make sure your Zoom has a waiting room.
While Zoom has taken strides in recent weeks to improve security, they’re still totally secure. And, unfortunately, Zoom bombing — which is when uninvited guests pop into Zoom calls — is still a thing. The best way to prevent a party crasher is to create a “waiting room” for your Zoom Halloween party. That way, guests have to ask to be “let in,” ensuring no one gets in that you don’t approve of.
Watch a scary movie together.
Scary movies are a hallmark of Halloween — but they’re way more fun to do together. Luckily, there are ways to watch together now, even if you have to watch apart.
One option? Just turn on video chat while you watch! That’s probably the simplest and pretty closely mimics the experience of watching in the same room. (You might want to up your Wi-Fi speed, though, as streaming and video chatting can be a data-suck.)
Another option is to create a “watch party” through one of the major streaming services, like Netflix. Watch party apps allow you all to watch the movie together and then chat about it via text. It’s kind of like up leveling your usual group chat, with a focus.
Tell ghost stories.
Set up a group video call, prep your space, and get ready to tell some spooky stories! Being online instead of IRL in this case can actually be an advantage, as it lets you really set the scene. Get a flashlight for creepy uplighting and some assistants to help with sound effects and you’ll be ready to scare the crap out of any audience.
Encrypt your traffic.
Look, we know this one isn’t as fun, per se, but cyber theft actually is scary and, unlike zombies, real. So we want to remind everyone to make sure your home network is encrypted. Check out Avast Secure Browser for a fully integrated, cross-device way to make sure everything you do online this Halloween is protected.
Even though crafts are obviously done with our hands, groups can do crafts together online. And, luckily, there are a lot of Halloween craft options out there — so even the less-crafty inclined in your group can participate.
Have a murder mystery party.
Did you know that murder mystery parties have also gone online? If you want to go all-out, you can even hire a team of actors to guide you through it. Get dressed in the theme, get your cocktails ready, and get ready to figure out who dunnit.
However you decide to celebrate Halloween this year, stay safe! Online — and off.