On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, nations around the globe will officially celebrate another Safer Internet Day. Organizations, groups, and individuals will once again try to raise the awareness of how important it is to protect every piece of information from potential data breaches.
We consider data security to be essential to all the people who spend their time online, especially children and young people. Along with the slogan “Together for a better internet”, thousands and thousands of people, including Ingsoftware, will try to help by putting a spotlight on the significance of data protection.
What is Data Security?
In essence, data security is a term used to cover all the methods and measures used to protect data from unauthorized use, access, and modification. To be precise, data security refers to the technology used for protecting information, but it also refers to numerous management practices. Furthermore, data security includes the use of different authentication software, managing satisfying access control, creating backups, encryption, authentication and more.
More About the International Safer Internet Day
Having one specific date in our annual calendars that will remind our whole society of the importance of online safety, was bound to happen. The 2004 EU SafeBorders project contributed to the whole idea of bringing this matter to light. Raising awareness of various types of cybercrime such as cyberbullying, identity theft, cyberstalking and other online scams soon started spreading to other parts of the world, too.
Nowadays, there are different ways to keep yourself updated about online safety. People from Safer Internet Day (SID), a worldwide initiative organized by Insafe/INHOPE network have centers in many different countries. These centers implement educational campaigns, run helplines while staying in touch with the online dwellers to help them create a better and safer internet for everyone. Parents might find the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) text quite useful as well since they can find all the necessary information about different online safety issues there.
The Importance of Securing Data
When it comes to data breaches, they are nowadays more common than ever. And regardless of how big or a small risk they carry with them, sensitizing the danger of data compromisation needs attention. Extracting sensitive information from any source as illegal as it is, is still happening on a regular basis. Usually, targeted or compromised data is:
- Business data
- Personal (User) data
- Government data
- Financial data
- Educational data
Usually, cyber-attacks include the use of ransomware, malware, phishing, etc. And if you are not familiar with the terms, the first one will help the cybercriminal to gain access to, lock and ban access to all the compromised data. The second one, malware, is designed to damage the computer or software, and it usually comes with a “warning” against malware. You don’t mind subscribing and leaving your email at various websites? Think twice, as phishing is yet another frequent data corruption method that could mislead you with emails from a seemingly verified source.
Some of the largest data breaches in history include 2019 First American Financial Corp breach, 2019 Facebook breach which exposed nearly 40 million user records and 2014 eBay breach. Behind each type of cybercrime lies a motive, and usually it is money. However, they tend to differ from case to case.
Make Every Day a Safer Internet Day
As much as celebrating the SID is undeniably a great way to raise awareness of the data corruption issue, we need to find a way to incorporate this into our everyday. To be precise, we need to stay alert all the time, especially when the young ones are concerned. The aim of SID is to educate children, parents, and everybody else about online safety and how to use technology in a responsible way.
Children & Online Threats
Children and youngsters are often the targets of cybercriminal due to their immaturity, lack of knowledge and susceptibility. Keeping in mind these things, the parents have to take action in providing a safe online environment for their children. These are some of the measures parents can take to make every day safer and help keep their children safe from all the Internet threats:
- Checking the History - no matter if you have a trustworthy relationship with your child, make sure to always check history. Having insight into what your kid is browsing is the priority.
- Passwords - knowing passwords for all the apps, platforms and websites your child visits is another must on your online parental-control list. Being able to know what they read, write or post could allow you to avoid any potential online incidents.
- Educate the kid - Try to educate your child on various online threats, and safety measures early in their lives. Digital literacy is one of the most important things for online safety.
- Monitoring Software - Monitoring software for both desktops or mobile devices could be quite helpful in keeping your children safe on the Internet. Installing these will help you gain insight into everything your child does on their devices.
- Childproof Device - Making sure that you install kid-friendly apps on all devices your child uses to spend time online is a must. Limiting access to sensitive content is one of the first things you should do when your child goes online. Nowadays most popular apps have their own parental control settings or even separate child-friendly versions. You will be able to find everything from Youtube Kids, Messenger Kids, etc. Moreover, there are great parental control apps for customization of your child’s device - some of these are Kids Zone - Parental Controls & Child Lock, perfect for Android mobile devices, or KIDOZ: Safe Play with Free Games for Kids.
Adults & Data Security
Adults are also under threat of numerous cybercrimes. Being a potential target of a cyberattack, there are some steps each individual can take to avoid facing similar situations. Take a look at what you can do on a daily basis to avoid any kind of cyber breaches:
- Strong passwords - the use of strong passwords with the right combination of numbers, symbols, lower and upper case letters will definitely help stay secure. Also, making sure that you avoid the use of obvious dates and names as a part of your passwords will be beneficial.
- Updates - software updates on your PCs or mobile devices will allow better data security.
- Additional Security on Mobile Devices - mobile devices are the easy target, so in order to keep all the data stored on those devices uncompromisable apply various protective measures. And not only by putting passwords everywhere, but also by erasing old and unnecessary data.
- Backup & Restoring - sometimes centralizing your documents and storing them on an external hard drive or even a cloud is a smart option. Make sure that you have various backup copies, too.
- Antivirus - one of the most neglected, yet really effective measures in fighting cyber-attacks. Installing an anti-malware software will protect your data to some extent, as they can detect harmful content.
- Emails and Internet Browsing - keeping one’s eyes wide open while surfing the Internet is a must. Downloading files from various suspicious sources can jeopardize your data. The same applies to the email lists, where you can encounter plenty of harmful content.
Our internet safety is one of the main things we should be concerned about when spending time online, and we often seem to forget about it. Luckily, initiatives such as Safer Internet Day are there to remind us of all the risks behind spending time online, as we are pretty much aware of all the benefits it has. Even if this information might seem like something you are very well aware of, keep in mind that according to some statistics 64% of American adults have never actually checked whether they were the target of a cyber breach.
More than four billion people all around the world have access to the internet and are regularly using it for various purposes. Children and the elderly, too. It is no surprise that almost eight billion records, including various pieces of information, have been compromised by data breaches solely in 2019.
And that is why it is important for each and every one of us to help spread awareness of this issue! Even with a simple gesture such as adding that #SaferInternetDay tag in your next post!