An Internet-free world is almost unimaginable.
Nearly everything we do involves the Internet, and we rely on it for even the smallest of tasks.
It goes without saying that the Internet simplifies our everyday lives in many ways, but the virtual space we use so extensively can also be dangerous if we don’t use it wisely. Users often disregard the risks associated with the Internet, believing that they are protected behind the computer screens and the digital devices they use.
Since the Internet can be a dangerous place in many ways, we will explain what Internet safety is, how to use the Internet properly, what dangers you can encounter online, and what steps you can take to stay safe.
What is Internet safety?
As the name implies, Internet safety is the act of staying safe while browsing the Internet. Other terms like internet security, cyber safety, e-safety, and online safety may also be used, but they all refer to the same thing.
More precisely, internet safety means taking all necessary measures to protect yourself from the risks and harms resulting in stolen information, online scams like identity theft, unsafe communication, and even mental and physical harm.
As the number of internet users grows, and as new websites and apps appear, organizations are becoming more concerned about online safety, especially for young users.
Young children are undoubtedly the most vulnerable group of internet users. In addition to device dependency, communications with strangers, internet addiction, and the potential for bullying, the online space can also negatively affect the mental health of children.
To protect children, adults need to be aware of the content their kids are exposed to, along with social media influencers and their effects on children.
Many new social media apps have emerged alongside Facebook and Instagram, including TikTok, Likee, FaceApp, and Clubhouse. These apps take a significant amount of kids’ attention and influence their behavior with the content that is being posted every day.
That being said, if users want to stay safe online, they must at least understand what the internet is, how it functions, and what’s on it.
Why is Internet safety important?
In today’s world, the internet is a necessary part of life. It is used for work, school, socializing, and entertainment.
However, the online world also carries certain online risks. That’s why users need to take safety precautions when online since it helps protect them from various cyber crimes.
There are many steps that users can take to stay safe online such as creating strong passwords, using two-factor authentication, and never sharing personal information.
While older users may know how to protect themselves from the aforementioned risks, younger ones still need parental supervision.
Currently, children are among the most frequent users of social media sites, instant messaging apps, and the Internet, making it very easy for them to get into trouble.
Nevertheless, both grown-ups and children need to be aware of the potential dangers the Internet brings in order to effectively protect themselves.
Online dangers users need to be aware of:
- Online bullying and harassment.
- Sex casting (Webcam Chat Sites, for example, Chat Roulette).
- Unwanted and inappropriate contact through social networking sites (Online predators).
- Giving out personal information that can put a child at risk of fraud.
- Exposure to inappropriate content and images by accident while browsing through search engines.
- Phishing, viruses, malware, and email phishing scams.
- Piracy or illegal file-sharing of music, films, or software.
Internet safety tips and how to stay safe online
As mentioned earlier, children are the most vulnerable group of Internet users. That’s why we will focus on their safety first.
A number of applications offer parental controls that allow parents to monitor what content their children view and whom they communicate with.
Additionally, many tech giants have designed apps exclusively for children which give parents extensive control over what content their children watch. As an example, YouTube Kids, (YouTube’s version for kids), allows parents to select their child’s age first, after which the platform offers videos tailored to the child’s age.
Furthermore, teens already decide when and which apps to use, so the best way to protect them is to limit the time they spend online, encourage them to talk about the internet and the content they encounter while using it, and make them aware of the risks it carries.
From a technical point of view, users can take plenty of steps to protect themselves and keep their kids safe while they use the Internet.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Don’t share your passwords, phone numbers, or your child’s personal information with anyone.
- Stay away from easy-to-guess passwords.
- Make sure that a website is secure by looking for the padlock or the prefix “https://” in the address bar.
- Install software updates as soon as they are released, especially if they contain important security updates.
- Avoid connecting to an unsecured public wi-fi network.
- Set up two-factor authentication so that hackers can’t access your personal account and information.
- Encourage kids to talk about the online content they are viewing and try to introduce healthy screen time habits.
Cyber security buzzwords you need to know
1. Cyber security threat – a malicious act aimed at destroying data, stealing data, or disrupting digital life in general.
2. Data breach – security incident where sensitive information is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or accessed by an unauthorized individual.
3. Ransomware – malicious software that encrypts files and renders them unusable.
4. Data leaks – The same as a data breach – the disclosure of sensitive, confidential, or protected data to a third party that is untrusted.
5. Hacker – a malicious intruder who could gain unauthorized access to data by using a zero-day exploit.
The Internet is undoubtedly an amazing tool we can’t live without in the modern world.
Nevertheless, users of the Internet may be exposed to different dangers and Internet fraud.
Because of this, it is vital to be aware of the dangers posed by your online activities and to take steps to protect yourself.
As a result, in order to protect yourself online, it is important to be aware of the dangers posed by your online activities and to take different steps to protect yourself.