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How do you talk about digital security with your friends and family?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

Password security, personal choices, risk mitigation— How do you talk about this with folks in your life outside of tech?


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yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund

I tell them that they shouldn't use the same extremely weak password for everything and they generally don't listen.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

What about password managers? Anybody take to those?

tbroyer profile image
Thomas Broyer

Trying to educate my wife and daughter: the only password you should remember is you Gmail one. Everything else should be generated by and saved into Chrome.
And I setup 2fa on their Gmail account.

My parents and sister, I don't even try (for now) 😉

gilday profile image
Johnathan Gilday

My friends and family understand why they need a password manager and generated, unique passwords, but they struggle too much with the UX of password managers. When the password manager doesn't work as expected, they follow a reset password workflow to reset their password to the same old crappy password they used to use everywhere.

I think browsers, web devs, and password managers will need to work together to make password managers work on the web more reliably. Until this happens, password managers will be largely for technical users who can workaround their UX problems.

youssefrabeiii profile image
Youssef Rabei

I use them for every password sometimes I use there random generator
But I don't use them for my super important password like my gmail my github my netlify accounts etc...

yujiri8 profile image
Ryan Westlund

I don't know. I doubt they would be any more interested though.

miriamtocino profile image
👩🏻‍💻✏️ Miriam Tocino

Nice question, Ben!

It's an important topic, especially when you discuss it with your children. I thought for a long time the way in which I'd like to introduce online safety to my son (and I wrote a book about it in the Zerus & Ona series).

He is 3 now, and he already knows that we, humans, aren't the only ones who can get sick, but computers can too! And he was explaining to me that there are bots, trojans, and worms, and how they make your computer go crazy!

I like to think that telling stories about online safety as part of children's upbringing, when they're still little, will help them become more conscious about it when they grow older.

P.S. For the ones who are curious, I wrote a longer blog post about it here:

terceranexus6 profile image

I go with the "saying you don't have anything to hide so you don't care about privacy is the same as saying you don't have anything to say so you don't care about freedom of speech" thing with privacy, to the least. About security I just chuckle and say everything is unsafe and I want to live in the mountains, but since I can't, I use Linux and don't use 12345 as a password: I recommend doing and wishing the same.

kazamario profile image

Why, securely of course! 😉

Outside of my successor, I don't. It's important, but in my region (central WI), no one listens to anything I recommend (can't even get people to try out I just throw these concepts at my daughter's head at random times and hope something sticks. LBVS. 🤣

stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

LOL. Before switching to dev full time because IT pay sucked, I had my family to thank for my rise in infosec (because I'd dealt with so many more security issues than my peers due to all the crap the fam shouldn't have been downloading).

alexanderjanke profile image
Alex Janke

y'all got friends.. ?

jokes aside
basically telling them to look at the stuff they sign up for and don't assume everyone in the world is out there for niceties, check emails for valid senders to avoid scams and the most obvious: Don't use the same password for literally everything. Oh and also change the password on your wifi routers

sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

Only through TLS 1.3!