Secure Internet Day will be celebrated in about 15 countries around the world on 11th of this month. This day is observed annually on the second day of the second week of February for the purpose of providing a safer and better internet, where every user uses the Internet responsibly and without access to leaked information.This idea was first tried in Europe as part of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004. This year the theme of the Safe Internet Day program is ‘Together for a better internet’.
But the question is how secure is the internet today given that there have been so many violations in the past? One cannot deny that the rise of smartphones has given internet access to most people. While the internet today is a very knowledgeable tool and our lives depend on it, it also has its own problems. A lot of false information goes online and that leads to many unsolicited incidents. Cyber bullying, password theft, data theft is one of the most common cybercrimes. Now what is really being done to prevent cybercrime? Are tech giants aware? Yes, to some extent YES.
During the Safe Internet Day, Google asked its user to check security to ensure that their Google account is secure. The tech giant also introduced a password check feature that can help users check how strong or weak their passwords are at various parameters. The feature enables users to check whether their passwords have been stolen or corrupted.
Every year SID calls for action on the many players involved in providing a safe and better digital environment for young users: Decision makers, nationally and internationally, industry, civil society organizations, teachers, parents and young people themselves. The Internet is a powerful tool with great potential for learning, developing skills and acquiring new skills and knowledge, as highlighted especially during the COVID-19 epidemic. However, it is an opportunity that comes with risks. The purpose of SID is to raise awareness but also to assist in strong actions to protect and empower children and young people online.
The digital world knows no bounds, and we need everyone to join and work with others in a way that ensures a better digital experience for all of us, and especially for young users.
Understanding the dangers online
To keep your children safe, you will need to be aware of the various types of online dangers that exist. For example, children and teens may be exposed to sexually explicit material on the Internet, such as pornography or obscene language. There is also the possibility of cyber bullying or cyber harassment from others online. This does not mean that your child will face all these threats. However, knowing the dangers can help you and your children to make wise decisions online.
Areas where accidents can happen
It is important for children to be aware whenever they are connected to the Internet because online threats are not limited to malicious websites. Chat rooms, computer games, and even social networks can be dangerous. If your children have cell phones, they will also need to be careful when texting or surfing the Internet on their cell phones.
Most teens today use Smartphones for everything. Many applications are downloaded daily, thus revealing sensitive personal information. With the advent of online shopping, financial information is shared knowingly or unknowingly making online payments and thus increasing the risk of sharing sensitive information.
Students, especially college students, rely heavily on the Internet for their projects. Every time they open a link, pop-ups appear and go to unsafe websites. Clicking on these will lead to malware that could harm their devices and steal sensitive personal information.
In addition, online competition scams, discounts, and free entertainment, trick teens into sharing their personal information, leading to the risk of identity theft.
Apart from this, online self-harm, online bullying and peer pressure, social harassment and online bullying, and deadly online challenges such as the Blue Whale Challenge, which claimed the lives of more than a hundred people worldwide, are constant threats.
Safe Internet Day provides a great opportunity to empower young people and make the Internet a safer and better place. Leaders, counselors, educators, parents and guardians need to step in and get involved.
What can we do For Secure Internet?
The safety of our children is our responsibility and we need to talk to them about safe use of the Internet, online dangers and threats, and equip ourselves with the necessary skills and competencies.
Online actions can have real-world consequences.
Photos, videos, messages and comments you share, may affect you, your health or other people who are online.
Before sharing anything, ask yourself:
– How would I feel if this content ended up where I did not intend to be?
– Will someone be hurt or upset by what I share?
-Your post may reach more people than you think.
-Whether you write or send private messages, you have no control over who sees your posts. Taking screenshots or resharing your post by someone else is always possible.
Before sharing anything, ask yourself:
– How would I feel about someone other than my partner seeing this?
– Which of my content may be abused or misused in another context?
-You can change the privacy settings on your social media to help you control who sees your information – and all the places you’ve signed in.
-Think carefully about what you share. If your privacy settings are not protected, anyone can see your information. Also keep in mind that people can take screenshots of things you share, even if your privacy settings are limited, or if you share private or group messages.
-Do not share personal information such as your address, phone number or banking details. And don’t share your passwords!
Encourage children to check the reliability and trustworthiness of online websites, keep their social media accounts private and avoid adding immoral people to their friends list can make a difference.
Students should be aware of the importance of privacy and that it is ‘wrong’ to share their photos with strangers or to be harassed, bullied or humiliated online.
The need for this hour is to instill good online habits among young people and to develop their digital intelligence and social and emotional skills. This is a safe online day, let’s help them see online threats and protect themselves from it.