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Host Your Family's Holiday Security Seminar With This Site
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Host Your Family's Holiday Security Seminar With This Site

Patrick Lucas Austin, Gawker Media

Image credit: Security Planner

Gather your family around the laptop screen: it's time to give them the gift of better online security. While you can't exactly give a presentation explaining everything from why your password shouldn't be your birthday to why you shouldn't open every email, you can help your loved ones learn about what security methods will best protect them. Using Security Planner, you can easily walk your relatives through the basics of online security and data protection tailored to their daily activities without being bombarded with (as many) questions or confused looks. Explainers about two-factor authentication, which apps are most secure, and how best to protect your private data are all answered based on your security needs.

The Security Planner questionnaire, created by security and privacy research organization Citizen Lab, asks a few simple questions about your devices, your online habits, and your concerns in terms of security.

First, you tell Security Planner about the devices you own, and which services you use.Next, you select the security concerns you have, which range from wanting better privacy to gaining access to websites blocked by your ISP or where you live.

The recommendations provided by Security Planner are mostly in the form of free apps you can download (like encrypted chat app Signal), or free services (like enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts) that boost the security of your online identity. There are also suggestions for security methods that require a few bucks, like purchasing a hardware security key, or signing up for a VPN subscription.

You can hit "Learn More" next to each recommendation, and see precisely how to get started securing your social media accounts, backing up your iPhone, or managing your passwords. Security Planner also tells you why each tool is important-or required-for adequate digital privacy protection.

While Security Planner's suggested solutions , like a $40 Yubikey or a $60 yearly subscription to a VPN service, require you to shell out some cash, they'll grant an extra layer of protection that's worth the investment. You can use that VPN to hide your web traffic or look at content blocked in your country, and that Yubikey can prevent your accounts from being compromised even if someone manages to swipe your laptop or password.

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