Safer Internet Day!
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Safer Internet Day!

Safer Internet Day!

Safer Internet Day held on February 7th, is a great opportunity to find resources, especially for those who don’t have time to read information regarding online safety.

The progress of new technology, new social media site features and internet connected devices and things, has the cyber world moving at the speed of light.  Nevertheless, just as real world dangers can impact on people, similar issues arise online, due to the world of cybercrime.

Cybercrime is currently the world’s fastest growing criminal activity. The awareness of this issue is important to help protect and prevent users from becoming victims of online incidents.

Here are some tips to help prevent cybercriminals and cybercreeps from meddling in your online world.

Ensure you know how to manage your social media account and find the privacy that suits you.  Not everyone views privacy the same way.  Some are comfortable with a semi-private account, giving away snippets of information for public view, while others want everything locked down.  View the Stay Safe Online site to find privacy settings for the most popular devices and online services.
Stay Safe Online

Most reputable sites today have some form of Two Factor Authentication (known as 2FA) to help ensure accounts have an added layer of security.  Yet many people fail to activate this feature as they believe it cumbersome to manage.  This safeguard to protect your accounts should not be overlooked, and may  save you the anguish of an account being breached or compromised.
This link has the coverage of sites currently using 2FA and displays how to activate the feature for each account. Turn On 2FA

Prevention of Hacks:
Hacks on systems occur often. In fact, according to cyber security company – Symantec, there were over one million web attacks against people each day in 2015!  Believing you are not going to be caught up in a computer attack is a naïve mindset. Cyber thieves are looking to use your data and information found online to further their criminal activity. It maybe to gain access to your banking detail, to locate and target other people, your work systems or simply to profile you or your family for a phishing scam.
If you are online, you are at risk!

Simple steps to avoid hacks:
> ensuring you keep personal information to yourself and not posted on social media sites.. regardless of your privacy settings… it can still be copied and shared at any time!
> keep anti-virus software updated and this includes for Macs, they are not immune to hacks.
> change your passwords often.  I have a rule – change your clock, change your smoke detector battery, change your password.  Change passwords whenever you believe your account may be compromised and if you find it too difficult to remember all passwords, take a look into a Password Manager.

My take away is this and I’ve said it for years:
If you are on a social media site, gaming app, or creating an account on a website – ensure these things:
Are there privacy and security settings?
Is there a block/report feature?
Can you delete the account?
Is there a contact for further help?

If these features do not exist… then do not use it!  In my opinion the site creators do not have your best interests in mind and are not looking to keep you safe.

Safety online is paramount to protect not only devices and online accounts, but people from maltreatment and abuse. So please ensure you keep updated with cybersafety information, including how to report and manage online incidents and offensive content.

Keeping updated can done by signing up to newsletters, or following Facebook pages of those in the industry who share credible, current and correct information.  I mention this as there are people who do like to share incorrect or old material which can be misconstrued and often leads to confusion.

If ever in doubt on what you read online, venture to the website to view a statement from the company, or the easiest option is to Google the topic information to ensure it is not a hoax.

Credible resources include:

Social Media Help Centres


Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner
–  information for parents regarding online incidents involving Australian children.

ACORN (Australian Crime Online Reporting Network)

– report cybercrime incidents.

With over 7 years’ international experience on the frontline in prevention of cybercrimes, my role is to support you and your family to be safer online.
If you would like to join me online, you can follow my CyberActive Services posts on Facebook, or read more about my credentials on the CyberActive Services website.

Have a happy and safe online journey,   Regards Janita.