Sharing a family computer will empty your bank account.

Many families have a main computer, laptop, desktop, mac or tablet that the children can use for their school work and socialising which parents use for work, emails, budgeting and browsing. It seems like a harmless setup however sharing devices always has a risk….

  • Let’s say that one of the children downloads a free game but bundled alongside is some spyware. That spyware is running the background sending every key pressed back to the hacker.
  • Next one of the parents’ logs in as they need to check their bank account. The spyware that was accidentally installed earlier is still running so when the parent goes to the banks website and logs in the hacker knows which bank they use and gets their passwords and account numbers.
  • Later that day they check their bank again only to find that their account is empty. The hacker has used their bank details to log in and empty the account.

It sounds simple but if one user of the shared device is insecure then it means that all of the users of the device are insecure. If one of the family members browsing habits or email usage gets them infected, then the devices is infected regardless of the user. and you are all at risk.

How to stay safe on a shared device

We always recommend that you perform sensitive tasks such checking the bank on a device that only you use. However, if this isn’t possible make sure that;

  • All of the users have restricted rights and use a separate admin account is used to manage the device.
  • You have a reputable and update to date anti-virus program installed and running at all times.
  • All users of the device have had been taught the dangers of email, web browsing and downloading.
  • Consider installing parental control software to limit what can be done and what websites users can visit.

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