Safer Internet Day this year is being celebrated on 8th February 2022, and it is already the 19th edition, since its introduction on 6th February 2004. The first one was celebrated in 13 EU countries and Australia, and today in approximately 200 countries worldwide. As the name suggests, the purpose of this campaign is to spread awareness and make the internet a safer place for its users.
In recent years, the awareness on cyber security, hackers, and the need to secure your digital identity have grown significantly but there is still a lot that goes unnoticed. Social networking, inappropriate content and finally, cyberbullying are still a threat to many non-vigilant users. Among the people who are the most vulnerable online there are children and the elderly. These are the groups I would suggest families to focus on.
Talk to your kids and elderly about the risks they can face on the internet and social media and explain to them for the start that:
- There is a reason for privacy and security settings so do set those up properly on browsers and social media
- If something is personal, keep it that way. Don’t post pictures of your kids, your holiday schedule, full address, or phone number, remember: “Once posted, always posted”
- You never know who is watching, check your privacy setting often and just share your news with a trusted group of people
- Make sure you know the people you are in contact with online
- Your online reputation is important also for your future career or business venture, so think before you post
If you happen to come across something disturbing, most countries have Safer Internet Centers where you can report any inappropriate content (https://www.saferinternetday.org/en-GB/in-your-country), do not hesitate to do so. There may be some case where authorities or police should be involved as well.
For further insights on how social media and algorithms use your information online, I suggest you watch the Netflix documentary “Social Dilemma” and acknowledge the impact of your actions online.
There is a lot happening in the cyber environment daily, so always stay vigilant. I wish you safe browsing and safe online interactions.
Chief Security Officer, Creditinfo Group.