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Naked Security Naked Security

Step forward, home IT heroes. We want to hear from you…

Who are you watching over at home? What challenges do you face and how has it changed over time? What advice do you follow and how has it helped you out? We'd love to hear what you're doing to help secure your friends and family!


You’ve read the stories; the lurid tales of homes laid bare by unsecured baby monitors, smart TVs and unintentional backdoors; the kids with apps that lied; the social media scams; the crummy passwords…

You saw them and you knew that somebody had to do something.

You did something.

You joined the legion of the unsung – the home IT heroes who take on responsibility for friends’ and family’s cybersecurity outside the corporate firewall.

You know that it’s important because you know that attackers don’t care, they’ll attack anything that’s vulnerable because that computer will send just as much spam no matter if it’s at home or at work.

You’re part tech support, part counsellor, part magician.

You might be an elite underground hacker or a sysadmin with a black belt in sendmail configuration, but you probably aren’t.

You might just be the youngest person in your family, maybe you once got a stubborn printer to work or figured out how to do a search in Netflix without your thumbs falling off.

Because it’s not about having mad skills and it’s not about glory. It’s the opposite. It’s about taking time out to do the dull things that nobody notices so that bad things don’t happen.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual event that aims to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online – sentiments enshrined in its mantra of Stop. Think. Connect.

We join in every year and we think the month is an especially important time for home IT heroes like you because the cybersecurity burden is not carried evenly. The event is, rightly, aimed at everyone, but the cybersecurity message won’t reach them all.

If they’re lucky though, the people who don’t get the memo and aren’t keeping themselves safe online will have a mother, a brother or friend who will.

In previous years we’ve written simple tips such as our 3 essential security tasks that we think everyone can do in October to make their family safer.

This year we thought we’d give you a moment in the sunshine and say, hey, we know you’re there and we’d love to hear from you.

I’ve created two polls, embedded below, so you can share how many people you’re looking after and who gives you the biggest headache!

We’d love to read your comments too – what challenges do you face and how has it changed over time? We’d also love to read your success stories – what advice do you follow and how has it helped you out?

Step forward home IT heroes.

You’re keeping a small tribe safe but everyone knows that 20% of the people cause 80% of the grief. Whose laptops are you forever disinfecting?

Image of superhero courtesy of Shutterstock.


It’s interesting in the poll that the kids are not the ones having the most tech problems here.


I’m leaning more towards the kids don’t fess up or even warn anyone else (or even admit when there’s proof) that they did something stupid. The millennials and younger seem to have a problem admitting fault.


The best one I’ve ever encountered… “I’ve tried for the past few days to open this zip file from an email saying that I owe toll road fees, and it just won’t open.” My response, “Just delete the virus before you do something with it you’ll regret…”


After some convincing, I was able to get my close family (spouse and children) to try Linux. A lot of my headaches were solved by that one move. There are still some challenges, but they are so minor compared to the ease and stability.


My elderly dad received an email from the FBI saying that he was being investigated. He wanted to print it out and take it down to the local FBI office to find out if it was real or not.


Got a call, my printer won’t work the computer says it’s not there ! Went round and flicked the switch on the wall socket – all was good after that. Luckily I don’t have a call out charge lol.

P.S> not a teenager but a tech savy 40+


“You deffinitely didn’t open the attachment?”
“No, I’m not THAT stupid!”
“The attachment that says you’re owed a tax rebate? You didn’t open it to see how much?”
“No! Jesus!”
“But it’s in your recent items jumplist.”
“Oh, THAT attachment. Yeah, I looked at that one. It was wrong, they don’t owe me anything, I checked.”
“You’re an idiot.”


My biggest headache is random files trying to connect to the internet, such as .png files on my mac. Neither Sophos nor Norton report a threat, and it goes away for a few days if I reboot.


Do you mean random programs are trying to download .PNG files? Or are you suggesting that some sort of program named “something.png” seems to be initiating a download?

It would help if you could explain what tools you used to discover this information, and exactly what they reported.


The hassle I continually find is a lack of concern (though I guess that’s probably inevitable).

Either an assumption that the little guys aren’t at risk:
“Why do I need a password/AV/Firewall – who’s interested in hacking me? They’re all after the banks & big corporations, aren’t they?”

Or typical English self-deprication:
“I’ve not got anything that interesting. If someone wants to hack my mailbox they won’t find anything useful.”

(Except those password reset emails that have just been generated by paypal, eh?)

And the number of times I’ve had to ask someone for their password for a given system for some specific purpose and they say “It’s xxxxx. And that’s the same one I use for everything.”

Why would they want to tell me that?


I’ve heard stories where folks do some very curious things at their computers:

-One lady deleting items in her Recycle Bin because she thought they would be recycled

-One person using the CD rom tray as a cup holder and then calling tech support asking where the CD rom tray is

-Another person actually wanting to change the password restrictions so that they can use only 4 characters and it expires every 2 years (instead of 90days or 60days).


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