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With heightened usage of internet in professional, personal, and educational settings, the risks associated with the online experience have increased as drastically. The information available on internet plays a vital role in enriching our lives. However, it can also end up harming us and the people we love. Especially children and young adults. After all, nowadays kids somehow manage to learn how to operate a touch screen before they can even speak, while older kids find out how to make the most of available opportunities much quicker than the generation of their parents.
Given the ubiquity of the internet, the increased possibility of cyber threats is just a consequence we all must learn to handle the right way. Not allowing children to be online is not an option. But raising awareness of children’s and young adults’ online safety is definitely a message that can be spread far and wide. And this is exactly why the Safer Internet Day is observed in February every year.
In the U.S., the global event coordinated by the Brussels-based Insafe/INHOPE Network, is hosted by ConnectSafely. And endeavors to promote a responsible attitude that empowers everyone, especially young adults, to use technology with discretion. “Responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively”.
Our today’s article takes a look at 5 top tips you can start practicing this Safer Internet Day. Read on, and get actively involved in making internet a better and safer place for your family.
Having started as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project, the Safer Internet Day is now observed in about 200 countries worldwide. In the U.S. it received official recognition in 2012, and as we said, this year it is to be hosted by ConnectSafely. The campaign strives to inform children and young adults, parents, teachers, care-takers, educators, social workers, and decision-makers from all walks of life, such as media, politics, and industry, that they need to get involved and play their part in creating a healthier and safer internet environment.
To promote awareness of safe and right use of digital technology, this year the Safer Internet Day is to be celebrated on Tuesday, February 8. It encourages everyone anywhere to participate in the effort. It reiterates we can use the internet’s potential to come together from across the globe, learn and inform ourselves, and spread the word. It reminds us of the importance of playing it safe online, and how critical it is to ensure you practice some basics to keep yourself and your family safe in the online world.
Try to take this day as an opportunity. And reflect on how the internet is accessed in your household. Look into the safety measures in place on your WiFi network at home as well as your devices, and ensure all internet usage is safe from cyber hazards.
To help you start playing an active role in making the internet a safer place for yourself and those you love, here are some basic practices you can make a habit out of.
There are times when kids and even adults make themselves vulnerable to identity theft by disclosing their personal information, home address or personal relationship status online. They usually do so because they believe they have nothing to lose. Even if you are on a job hunt, what you need to remember is your potential employer does not necessarily have to know any such information. All they need to know is your expertise in a specific niche and professional background, and how they can reach out to you.
As you do not like the idea of sharing of your personal information with strangers in real life, you should not be making the mistake of putting your sensitive information out there for millions of people online.
In case, you have kids at home, you should protect their identity online as well. At times, scammers or hackers can trick kids into revealing their security code or other important details that could lead to identity theft. Therefore, it is crucial to remind kids every once in a while not to disclose their personal information in front of anyone.
Needless to say, scammers and hackers want to know everything about you. With your browsing and social media usage, not only marketers but hackers can learn so much about you and the activities you conduct online. But let us tell you that you are in charge of your information.
No matter which device you use when using the internet, there are settings available on web browsers and cellphones to protect your privacy online. Some popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram also have privacy-enhancing settings available for their users. You may find it hard to find these settings as these apps want your personal information for its marketing value. Once you locate these privacy settings, make sure you enable the safeguards to keep your information safe online.
Most people prefer online shopping over going through the hassle of driving to the marketplace. If you are one of those, you would be required to provide credit card or bank account details to make a purchase online. This is why you need to ensure you provide this information to only secure, encrypted connections. Otherwise, cybercriminals will get your bank account details, as they are already eager to get their hands on it.
If you are wondering how to identify secure sites on your own, let us tell you that all you have to do is to look for an address starting with https: (where the ‘s’ stands for secure). Do not use sites which has address that starts with http: This is how you can protect your sensitive information online.
If you have kids at home, you need to keep a close look at the activities they perform online. To protect them from unwanted or inappropriate content, ensure they are playing games, streaming videos, and accessing information which is appropriate for their age. As a parent, it is your responsibility to find out about the people they are playing online games with.
Once you are sure that your child plays games that are suitable for their age, it’s also important to take the time to check whether the app gives the option for social interactions. If the app allows online communication like thumbs up or any other emoji option and not a text chat, the chances of unwanted social interaction will automatically be reduced.
By no means you should think the tips we have so far mentioned can help you be safe online without the aid of internet security software. If you are not using one currently, maybe it’s time to invest in internet security software.
There are several internet service providers that offer top-notch internet security software you can include with an internet package. Spectrum gives it free of additional cost. While Xfinity offers you advanced security via its wireless xFi Gateway which makes your entire in-home WiFi network safe. Make sure you take advantage of such plans to keep yourself safe online.
Knowing that there is a lot of risk involved in accessing and giving information over the internet is not enough. You should also know how you can act more responsible when using technology. So while these basics are good to get you on track, these are the first steps. Educating yourself, kids and young adults around you, is a critical process which must continue to progress and not end with the Safer Internet Day. Practice the basics, learn more, and spread the awareness.
We rely on internet for virtual learning, to connect on social media platforms, and run the apps that simplify our day-today tasks. It is imperative to make the most of internet safety tips. Also, it’s crucial to find internet providers that offer fast and secure internet to their subscribers.
When will Safer Internet Day 2022 be celebrated?
Safer Internet Day 2022 will be globally celebrated on Tuesday, 8th February.
What is the theme for Safer Internet Day this year?
This year, the theme for Safer Internet Day with the theme of “ Together for Better Internet”, once again.
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