A password is just like your house key

Helinä Turunen

Information security and data protection are usually concern that are emphasized in the corporate world. However, working from home increases the need for common rules for all the family; digitalization is reaching out to everyday life, homes and schools.

Cyber security expert Helinä Turunen from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s Cyber ​​Security Center is the right person to ask about the safety of children’s and young people’s online behavior:

-For example, in the game called Fortnite, there are expensive products, such as rare digital “skins” that are coveted stuff. Trading in game usernames and passwords has been estimated to be even more lucrative than the game industry itself. Many users make the mistake of using the same password for all their services. Hacking is thus simple because many username-password combinations are already available from hacked accounts.

Helinä Turunen compares the password with your keys:

-Of course, you don’t use the same key to the door of your home, your car, and to your bike lock. The same rules apply to adults and children. Be sure to set a different password for different services. Make your password strong and, if possible, enable 2-step verification. In addition, hardware and software updates must be up to date.

App may collect information that will be passed on to advertisers

Parents should pay attention to the content of the games. When downloading free games, one should be aware that the user can actually be the product to be sold, Turunen reminds.

-Typically, an app collects information that will be passed on to advertisers.

-In case of paid programs, it is always good to read the privacy statement and check if the application collects more than just game analytics information.

Data protection law provides protection for those living in the EU, and applications must state what data is collected and what it is used for. But the question is whether the consumer understands what is written in the privacy statement.

Do no try to guess the password of your friend

The cyber security expert hopes that teachers will have access to training when the whole class starts using online learning platforms.

-In addition, always remind the kids and students to no not to give their password to anyone, not even to their best friend. It is forbidden to try to guess your friend´s password. It is actually a hacking attempt and a punishable act.

Turunen refers to YLE’s news, published in August 2020: Five young minors hacked into a companies’ online services. The investigation revealed several million individual data breaches. The hackers used a tool that tries out the combinations of usernames and passwords. Breaking into someone’s account is no small matter; burglary can be punishable by law up to three years in prison.

We want you to be safe

Turunen also warns about the grooming phenomenon. There is currently an ongoing social media campaign #DontBeAnEasyCatch to teach young people to exercise caution. Not everything on the net is what it looks like, so never go alone to meet a new online acquaintance, no matter how comfortable the guy may seem.

A good basic rule to remember is that you should never give out your own name, age, home address, or phone number to a stranger. And private things should not be told to strangers anyway. All the information online is as valuable as the content of your diary. Spreading your own personal things online is the same as letting strangers into your own room.

-Everyone – both young and old – is allowed to end a conversation that seems uncomfortable. And if you already told any private information to strangers, be brave and talk with an adult, only that way it is possible to solve the problems.

Missteps also happens in the adult world. If you fall victim to phishing, it’s a good idea to tell about the situation to your IT manager.

-Generally in the workplace, you should communicate to employees that “hey we want you to be safe!”