ESET Safer Internet videos: A Great Way to Jumpstart Security Awareness for Work and Home
IT security company ESET have produced an interesting series of short videos on Internet safety. Ten videos, each no shorter than two minutes and no longer than five-and-a-half minutes long, provide a combination of orientation materials for newcomers to the web and helpful tips for veteran users as well. Scott Steinberg, CEO of TechSavvy and rated by Google as the Top Security Expert in the World, narrates videos with general guidelines and pro tips. Allison Rhodes, The Safety Mom, narrates the more nuanced advice for families who share a home computer.
ESET’s Enjoy Safer Internet videos cover safety measures for computers, tablets and mobile devices. They describe precautions you or your family can take to avoid phishing, malware, and to protect your identity as well. In the event that you run afoul of a virus or malware, they also offer solutions to the problem that are entirely doable on your own.
The first video outlines the safety landscape that subsequent videos then examine in more detail. Some of the tips seem a bit obvious, for example, password protection, but the videos go into further detail regarding what makes a strong password, and what you can do to store passwords without potentially compromising your system or giving an attacker the all-access pass to your private information. (We would personally add to this video that the value of changing passwords at different intervals improves password security).
The videos narrated by Alison Rhodes explain how to protect your family from phishing scams, how and where to avoid cybercriminals and how to keep your personal information private. Rhodes also discusses the merits of a personal firewall and advises on anti-phishing tactics before going into the precautions of using social media. It is a cursory but thorough look at the basics for protecting your identity, which the later videos relate back to.
Rhodes' videos on safety tips for families with home computers are especially important for properly educating children on what to expect when they use the web. Most Internet users don't quite appreciate the responsibilities and risks involved with web-browsing, and children can haplessly find themselves vulnerable simply because they don't know any better. Your kids may inadvertently put your family's identity and information at risk with one wrong click, and more often than not become the target of cyberbullying and other cybercrimes. Rhodes' videos are designed to teach parents on how best to further educate their children on understanding how to use the web. Rhodes recommends parental controls, not only to protect and monitor how your children use the Internet, but to help you proactively block dangerous websites as well.
Steinberg's videos are a bit more technical, but are clear, methodical, and no more difficult to understand than Rhodes' videos. Scott builds from the introductory video and the advice Rhodes gives, covering the wider security landscape and discussing Anti-Virus Software, device security, dealing with viruses and the different types of (malware) threats to your system.
Steinberg explains what AV software does and the differences between free versus paid AV software. Scott lists factors that you should consider as you decide which AV software is right for you. Steinberg is careful to mention that Apple isn't without its wormy fruit either. He stresses that Macs need antivirus protection despite the commonly held belief that they don't. He closes by saying that no Operating System is 100% secure, and that protective measures taken ahead of time are paramount to a safer online experience. (We'd also point out that Windows networking exposes PCs to cross-platform infection paths.) We’re big fans of users making informed choices, and even a seasoned user will benefit from checking Scott’s list since some benefits of paid software aren't necessarily apparent at first glance, and can significantly outweigh the allure of free software.
Two videos in the series discuss threats to your Internet security, how to determine whether your computer is at risk from these threats, and how to reduce risk quickly and effectively. Steinberg explains phishing and malware, what sets them apart, and what sets them apart from a virus. He points out how they manifest, how they can sometimes play off each other, what they can do to your computer and how they can affect your life. Steinberg also makes sure to inform users on how to remove infections. His most useful words of wisdom are, "think before you click". As advocates of the Stop.Think.Connect. program, we agree that this might be the single most important safety measure you or your family can take..
Steinberg's remaining videos go into different strategies for protecting both Android and Apple tablet and mobile devices. The tips for Android users are essential for managing apps and data on phones and tablets specifically. Scott explains that the Android market is more sandbox than Apple, which is supported entirely iTunes store. This makes it convenient for both developers and users, but opens both up to risks that Apple users are not exposed to. Steinberg lists suggestions for anti-theft features on your devices, and also covers tips on knowing if an Android App is safe to download.
We’re big advocates of security awareness programs (see our Stop Think Connect posts) and we’re pleased with what we find in the Enjoy Safer Internet series. The videos are succinct in their teaching style, and reinforce important safety lessons by repeating advice in several videos. Steinberg and Rhodes make repeated reference to the value of Anti-Virus software and possible symptoms that your computer or mobile device may be infected, reiterate the signs of phishing, and reinforce the message that Safety equals Technology plus Awareness. It’s hard to be repetitive and not lose your audience, but we think ESET’s “repetition is the key to learning”approach in this series finds a good balance: you can watch each video in about the time it will take to read this article.
The Enjoy Safer Internet videos are more than an ESET's security software product pitch. Steinberg maintains full transparency in each of his videos and does a commendable job of recommending software while not plugging any one type of product or vendor in particular. Scott does a commendable job of teaching people how to be safer on the web without dangling a carrot in their face. We think they are a good complement to the Internet safety information provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) at Stopthinkconnect.org. They may also complement the resources that the SANS Secure The Human project provides for organizations or small business that have many non-technical employees.
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