Ever “hacked” into someone’s network and sent them weird messages to their printers? When I started university there were too many people not securing their internet, which meant a lot of fun for me and my friends, but not for the ones whose printers started coughing up 100 pages of “Set a password, i****!” at 1 am in the morning.
But nowadays we secure everything with all kinds of complicated passwords, and then we share our Netflix, Spotify or Amazon accounts with everybody. Which is nice, and if you trust the person there is no harm. In fact, 46% of people feel comfortable sharing their streaming services with their housemates according to a recent study by Kaspersky. On the other hand, 32% are sharing their accounts, although they are unsure about their safety, as they do not know about their friends’ digital habits.
But how can you still keep your things private and your digital comfort zone secure?
Private versus public network
Which a lot of my past dorm mates did wrong, was to connect to the dorm’s internet and not set it as a public network. A computer is only as intelligent as the person sitting in front of it, and if you set the network as a private network, it won’t restrict people from accessing your information or devices.
Passwords for everything!
Yes, we all hate passwords and still they save us not just from nosy siblings, but also from insecure connections, and cybercriminals. If you tend to forget your passwords, then you may want to try out a password manager. They can be a real help, especially when it comes to sensitive information.
Treating yourself is great, but you have to educate yourself before that: check the security settings on your devices, and if you have no idea what you could do ask a friend or search Google. Especially when it comes to smart devices you have to make sure, nobody but you can access them, as they hold a lot of information about you.
There is no shame in rejecting your friends or housemates when they want you to share your services with them. Especially if they do not know the difference between a firewall and antivirus software or if they think Sunshine258 is a strong password. If you do want to help them out, you can set up their devices for them, and explain to them how important it is to stay safe and alert online.