You’ve read the stories; the lurid tales of homes laid bare by unsecured baby monitors, smart TVs and unintentional backdoors; the kids with apps that lied; the social media scams; the crummy passwords…
You saw them and you knew that somebody had to do something.
You did something.
You joined the legion of the unsung – the home IT heroes who take on responsibility for friends’ and family’s cybersecurity outside the corporate firewall.
You know that it’s important because you know that attackers don’t care, they’ll attack anything that’s vulnerable because that computer will send just as much spam no matter if it’s at home or at work.
You’re part tech support, part counsellor, part magician.
You might be an elite underground hacker or a sysadmin with a black belt in sendmail configuration, but you probably aren’t.
You might just be the youngest person in your family, maybe you once got a stubborn printer to work or figured out how to do a search in Netflix without your thumbs falling off.
Because it’s not about having mad skills and it’s not about glory. It’s the opposite. It’s about taking time out to do the dull things that nobody notices so that bad things don’t happen.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual event that aims to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online – sentiments enshrined in its mantra of Stop. Think. Connect.
We join in every year and we think the month is an especially important time for home IT heroes like you because the cybersecurity burden is not carried evenly. The event is, rightly, aimed at everyone, but the cybersecurity message won’t reach them all.
If they’re lucky though, the people who don’t get the memo and aren’t keeping themselves safe online will have a mother, a brother or friend who will.
In previous years we’ve written simple tips such as our 3 essential security tasks that we think everyone can do in October to make their family safer.
This year we thought we’d give you a moment in the sunshine and say, hey, we know you’re there and we’d love to hear from you.
I’ve created two polls, embedded below, so you can share how many people you’re looking after and who gives you the biggest headache!
We’d love to read your comments too – what challenges do you face and how has it changed over time? We’d also love to read your success stories – what advice do you follow and how has it helped you out?
Step forward home IT heroes.
You’re keeping a small tribe safe but everyone knows that 20% of the people cause 80% of the grief. Whose laptops are you forever disinfecting?