SANS #SecureTheFamily | Practical Ways to Stay Safe Online – From Our Experts to Your Home

#SecureTheFamily - Helping to spread security awareness programs beyond the boundaries of the office

Today, we are more digitally connected than ever before, as more people work from home, remote e-learning has grown exponentially, and Wi-Fi-enabled “smart” devices increasingly occupy different aspects of our daily lives. Our children are super savvy about the latest model of mobile phone, while our aging parents need help with theirs. All of this connectivity brings plenty of benefits and convenience, but each connected device also brings increased risk.

“Every personal device used is a potential entry for system threats,” says Heather Mahalik, Digital Forensics Expert, SANS Faculty Fellow, Cellebrite Senior Director of Digital Intelligence, and mother of two. “Cyber attackers can target anyone’s home – no one is invulnerable,” she says. “Risks to our digital safety are everywhere, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Ms. Mahalik developed the SANS Security Awareness #SecureTheFamily global initiative to help keep your kids, family, and home safe from cyber harm. Leverage these tools to learn practical advice on how to keep your family safe online with a focus on proper device usage and limits for all ages.

#SecureTheFamily Video Series

In order to protect your home and family online we needed to show you first-hand how it’s done right. In this series of informative videos Heather invites you into her home and introduces you to members of her family. Heather shares personal challenges, tips, and helpful ideas that you can action at home. Whether you're new to the idea of cybersecurity or if you’re a ‘seasoned professional’ these videos are the ideal tool to share with your family and friends. You won’t find deep or confusing technical terminology, Heather explains and shares her advice in a way everyone can understand and appreciate.

Top Threats to the Home

Anyone’s home can be targeted by a cyber attacker. In this module, digital forensics expert Heather Mahalik identifies the most common threats to home digital security and shows us how to secure a home W-iFi network and smart home devices.

Securing Devices

Many parents face difficulty in striking an appropriate balance between security and accessibility regarding their children and teens’ digital devices. In this module, digital forensics expert Heather Mahalik discusses the security risks associated with kids’ devices, as well as common-sense steps parents can take to secure devices by type and operating system.

Backing Up Your Digital Information

Backing up our digital information consistently is crucial in order to protect ourselves and our families in cases of device crashes, attacks, and other emergencies. In this module, digital forensics expert Heather Mahalik discusses the ins and outs of backing up data, including the use of cloud storage providers, scheduling regular automatic backups, understanding where data is going, and talking to family members about backups, password managers, and other important data security measures.

Balancing Your Children's Privacy Online

Our children and teens are spending more time than ever online. In this module, digital forensics expert Heather Mahalik discusses screen time limits and outlines the risks associated with kids’ online activities, including cyberbullying, social media use, video gaming, and the concept of the digital footprint.

OUCH! Newsletter - Receive the latest security tips and news to your inbox

OUCH! is the world's leading, free security awareness newsletter designed for everyone. Published every month in over 25 languages, each edition is carefully researched and developed by the SANS Security Awareness team, instructors and community members.

Meet the Expert

Digital Forensics expert, SANS instructor and mother of two, Heather Mahalik certainly is the perfect person to help you secure your family at home. If you missed her live stream introduction to this campaign be sure to take a look now. You can also find more information about Heather and follow her on Twitter for the latest news in the world of digital forensics.


Extend Your Security Awareness Program Outside the Office

#SecureTheFamily Deployment Playbook | Strategies and tips to get the most from this program

We know that you may be the IT pro in the household but are you also trying to introduce better practices at work? The #SecureTheFamily kit equips you or your employer to better educate any workforce on established techniques to secure their home devices and personal data, as well as how parents can protect their children and teens online. The guide outlines the materials included and provides suggestions on how to deploy it as part of your Security Awareness Program.

You can learn more about how this campaign can help businesses directly by visiting this page.

More Free Resources