Safer Internet Day 2020 - How to stay safe online

Tech Blog
IT Support
February 11, 2020
Online Safety

"Digital technologies provide you with a world of possibilities at your fingertips. Never before have we enjoyed so many opportunities to learn, exchange, participate and create. Yet, the internet also opens up certain risks to its users - especially the most vulnerable ones, such as children: privacy concerns, cyberbullying, disinformation, exposure to potentially harmful content and predatory behaviours, to quote but a few."

"The aim of Safer Internet Day is to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, resepectfully, critically and creatively. In 2020, Safer Internet Day in the UK will encourage young people to explore how they manage their online identity, and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others."

Threats of the internet can affect any individual or any organisation, so we have gathered a list of ways for you to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep yourself or your organisation safe from online threats:

Keep personal information professional and limited:

Reduce the possibility of impersonation or fraud by keeping the information you share online, limited to only information that is necessary. Don't overshare!

Keep your privacy settings on:

Making sure your privacy settings are up to date and secure means it is much harder for individuals or organisations to track your browsing or social media habits, as well as reduces the threat from hackers.

Practice safe browsing:

"You wouldn't choose to walk through a dangerous neighbourhood - don't visit dangerous neighbourhoods online." Cybercriminals use all sorts of convincing content to lure you in as bait. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Make sure your internet connection is secure. Use a secure VPN connection:

Joining a public Wi-Fi makes you extremely vulnerable to cybercrime. Without a secure connection, cybercriminals have the opportunity to steal your personal information, impersonate you or completely take over your device. Making sure you only ever connect to secure internet connections is a great start to avoiding this, but using a secure VPN connection enables you to have a secure connection between your device and an internet server that no one can monitor or access the data that you're exchanging.

Be careful what you download:

Just like the deceiving content on malicious websites is used to lure you in by cybercriminals, a top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware - programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This type of malware can easily be disguised as an app - once downloaded, the aftermath can be catastrophic. Ultimately, don't download apps that look suspicious!

Choose strong passwords:

It seems obvious to have strong passwords, but a poll conducted in 2018 showed that 59% of people used the same password everywhere online! It can be daunting having different confusing passwords for everything you need to log in to, but this task can be made much simpler and securer by investing in a password manager, which will not only generate strong unique passwords but will also take care of all of your passwords for everything you need, so you will never forget a password again!

Make online purchases from secure sites:

Anytime you make a purchase online, you are inputting the most sensitive personal information you own, your name, address and bank account details. This point is simple, always make sure you to check the websites you're purchasing from is secure by checking for 'https:'in the web address (the 's' stands for secure). You can also keep your eye out for a padlock sign just before the web address.

Be careful what you post:

With the introduction of social media channels to the internet, we have become 'oversharers'. You always want to be careful of how you present yourself on social media, whether it's a status or a photo, there is no 'completely delete from the internet' button, so even if you decide to delete a post, it is never fully gone from the internet.

Be careful who you meet online:

We're all familiar with the saying 'don't speak to strangers', well the same applies to the internet, not everyone is who they say they are on the internet and these people most likely don't have your best interests at heart.

Keep antivirus programs up to date:

Internet security software can't protect from all threats on the internet, but it can detect and remove most malware - but it can only perform its job is it is kept up to date.

You can find out more about 'Safer Internet Day 2020' here.

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