11 February 2020 16:48
Safer Internet Day is being celebrated in around 15 countries across the world today. The day is observed every year on the second day of the second week of February with an aim to provide safer and better internet, where every user gets to use the internet responsibly and without getting their data leaked. This year the theme of the Safer Internet Day initiative is Together for a better internet'. But the question is how safe is the internet today considering there have been so many breaches in the past? Cyberbullying, Password trafficking, data thefts are some of the common crimes that take place on the internet on a regular basis.
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, Google has asked its user to perform a security check to make sure that their Google account is safe. The tech giant has also introduced a password checkup feature that can help users test how strong or weak their passwords on various parameters. The feature enables the users to check if any of their passwords have been hacked or compromised. Google posted the link on its Twitter handle that redirects the users to the Password check feature. Once you are redirected to the page, you can see the list of websites that Google's password check feature supports.
The PSNI has backed this campaign, sharing a short video from their Public Protection Branch and Chris Eisenstadt from Parenting NI, giving tips for keeping children safe online. They've also shared UK Safer Internet Centre's 10-question quiz, aimed at people aged 7-13, which explores the best practices when using the internet. The quiz aims to teach young people how to deal with peer pressure online, as well as what they should do if something happens that they're not comfortable with. This new data comes as over 1,600 supporters in the UK, including schools, charities, police service, businesses, Government ministers and celebrities are taking part in initiatives today aimed at promoting the safe, responsible and positive use of technology for children. Earlier today, deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill joined pupils at Holy Trinity Primary School in Belfast for Safer Internet Day. She spoke to the young people about the need to be aware of and avoid potential dangers of the internet and encouraged them to be kind and respectful to each other online.
For instance, users must use a physical security token - on top of a password - to sign in to their Google accounts. Hence, avoid downloading apps via links in e-mails or social media. Parents in Suffolk are being urged to sit down with their children to "talk frankly" about online activity after figures revealed an average of 15 cyber crimes a day in the east of England. The statistics come as online platforms are facing growing pressure to protect vulnerable people on the internet, amid Government plans to tackle a wide range of online harms. Today on Safer Internet Day, Suffolk police is asking parents to look at whether social media accounts, websites and apps that they and their children use are both appropriate and safe. Detective Superintendent David Giles said: "The theme of this year's Safer Internet Day is 'Together For A Better Internet' and by working together families can ensure they are all playing a role together to stay safe online. "We are asking parents and carers across Suffolk to sit down with their children and talk frankly about their online activity. "InternetMatters and ThinkYouKnow websites are good sources of information for keeping up with the latest social media networks and advice." According to a new survey coinciding with Safer Internet Day, more than a third of children find it easier to be themselves online than offline. A total of 38% also said they see the internet as a safe space to explore and grow, but many also shared concerns about the behaviour of others and the need to create secondary accounts to protect themselves. Will Gardner, director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, said while the internet holds many positive experiences for children, people must also acknowledge "the pressures, challenges and limits" it can also bring. "It is so important for all of us - adults, businesses, and government - to support young people to harness the internet for good and make it a place where everyone is free to be themselves," he said. Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said: "Keeping Suffolk's young people safe online is massively important - the internet has huge benefits but it can also pose huge dangers. "We must work together to protect our young people and make parents and carers aware of the help available to support their children. In addition, social platforms such as Facebook have tools in place to secure your account. Safer Internet Day: How to stay safe online Prevention is better than cure, and one way to prevent a possible attack, is to use strong passwords. The best way to create a secure password is to use a mix of random alphanumeric characters and symbols. The Password Checkup tool will also inform you if your passwords have been compromised in a third-party data breach, and will provide you with a link to change it. "By focusing on Internet safety, we can help the youth really enjoy these benefits while keeping safe from the risks of the online world." One of the goals of the Safer Internet Day 2020 campaign is to provide more educational resources tailored to children and teenagers on using social media platforms and staying safe online. Understanding the security and privacy tools of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is also vitally important.