Top tips to protect yourself on Safer Internet Day
Today marks Safer Internet Day, an awareness day created to celebrate the amazing range of information and opportunities online, and its potential to inform, connect and inspire us, whilst also looking at how young people can separate fact from fiction. From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise the awareness of emerging online issues.
Each year Safer Internet Day is the biggest celebration of online safety in the UK, with 49% of UK children aged 8-17 hearing about the day in 2020, alongside 26% of UK parents. It’s clearly having a good effect as 77% of young people say they now feel more confident about what to do if they were worried about something online.
Whilst being online is crucial to the development of any young person these days, most parents are aware of the risks to their children; especially at the moment with the lack of social contact leading to increased internet browsing. Recent statistics produced by leading parent control software, Qustodio, shows that the average screen time on devices used by children aged four to 15 is up by over 100% compared to this time last year.
But, as well as ensuring children keep safe online, it’s of the utmost importance that the entire family can identify ‘fake news’ and untrustworthy, malicious content, whilst knowing the steps to take when they come across it. And that’s why the theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day is ‘An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world’.
Leading cybersecurity experts Luis Navarro and Pedro Martins, of award-winning IT support company, Totality Services are on hand this Safer Internet Day to share their top tips to keep the entire family’s online experience as safe as possible.
Luis Navarro, a co-founder at Totality Services, said: “The pandemic has meant that we’re all at home using our connected devices more than ever before. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this and using all kinds of new tactics to get you and your family to click on their malice content, including fake news, fake sites, wi-fi hacking and email phishing to name a few. Cybercriminals and their attacks are increasingly more sophisticated, so ensuring our young ones know what to do and how to identify the content is so important.”
Tips to keep the family secure ahead of this year’s Safer Internet Day:
Use strong and unique passwords. When you create passwords for any online accounts (e.g., Gmail, Facebook, Sainsbury’s etc.), make sure a mix of numbers, symbols, and letters, both uppercase and lowercase are included. Always use different passwords for each account. It’s harder to remember, but it will keep your information much safer.
Use a Password Manager
Use a password manager to keep passwords safe and organised in one location. Password managers automatically generate and store passwords for your accounts. You only need to create one master password for the manager, and it will hold your account passwords securely. Popular password managers include LastPass and 1Password.
Only use legitimate websites
This may sound obvious, but many people don’t. Always take a minute to consider whether the website you’re about to sign up to is the real deal, always check customer reviews (e.g., Trustpilot) and perhaps even check if the company is registered on Companies House. No matter how secure your passwords are, using them on unsafe sites will put your personal information in danger.
Enable 2-step authentication on your accounts, we highly recommend this! This nifty technology makes your accounts even more secure by requiring extra ‘step’ to let you log in, such as a code sent to your phone via text message. Many email providers and social media accounts offer this.
Don’t open emails or files from people you don’t know
Beware of phishing scammers. These are people who send fake emails to make you share personal information, like your credit card details. If you see an email from an unfamiliar address, or from an address you know but with a suspicious message (e.g., with bad English), move it to your spam folder.