Together for a Better Internet
The last 20 years seem to have disappeared in an internet-fuelled blur of efficiency and convenience. The online world is an inescapable presence with too many benefits to list. Just the other day I pulled the car over, took out my phone and bought tickets to a Guns N’ Roses concert. No lining up overnight on a dingy street in the hope they don’t sell out… not in these days of lightning fast transactions and 5G (soon) mobile services As we all know, the cyber world also has pitfalls we need to avoid. Safer Internet Day is an initiative designed to bring attention to these. It’s global, it happens every year and its aim is to make the internet a better place for all of us. This year it’s happening on Tuesday the 5th of February, and the slogan is ‘Together for a Better Internet’.
Internet Security Awareness
Safer Internet Day about raising awareness about internet security and promoting online safety. These days our watches are connected to our phones which are connected to our desktops and our tv’s and our fridges which are all connected to our social media accounts. It’s complicated and it’s tough to secure. Having strong passwords in place is a great start, as is keeping your software updated and using two-factor authentication.
With kids these days basically being born with a tablet in their hands, cyberbullying is a massive concern. It needs to be detected and disclosed early, and there is no better way to do this than through awareness and training. Social media exposes kids to forces outside our realm of control, so they need to learn how to use it safely. The bullies themselves also need to know they can’t get away with it. There are laws in place against them, and greater awareness means a greater chance of them getting stopped.
What can we do?
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is a huge supporter of the Safer Internet Day, and so is Smile IT. “Together for a Better Internet” is about encouraging each of us to help make the cyber world safer. We can do this by focusing on four important areas, the 4R’s of internet safety: Respect, Responsibility, Reasoning and Resilience.
Respect is about treating people how you want to be treated.
Responsibility is about accountability and having the strength to take a stand.
Reasoning is about being able to understand what is real or not.
Resilience is about having the ability to bounce back from tricky circumstances.
So how can you individually contribute? Start with your friends, family and workmates and make them aware of Safer Internet Day, its goals and the 4R’s. Direct them to the resources offered by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, and ask them to spread it through their circles. Talk about it on social media and use the hashtags #SID2019 and #SaferInternetDay to contribute to the groundswell of support. You can use the visuals supplied by the Safer Internet Day website to spruce up your accounts or your website. Blog about it like we have just done (high-five team!), share all the official announcements from the organisers, and get involved with and SID 2019 events organised.