Safer Internet Day

This week is Safer Internet Day, an initiative of the European Commission that aims to draw attention to the aspects of safe access to online resources for children and young people. In an era of increasing Internet popularity and access, where more than 60% of the world's population enjoys the benefits of the virtual world, data and information security are more important than we might think. Due to the fact that most of our interactions and transactions currently take place online, it is important to know how to use the Internet safely and responsibly, which is why we have decided to present examples of safe and unsafe online behavior in relation to personal data.

Examples of dangerous behavior when using the Internet

The first example will come as no surprise to anyone: using the same password for all accounts. Using the same password in various locations implies that we have the same password for all of our Internet accounts, such as email, bank, social networks, and so on. This is problematic because if someone gains access to our password in one location, they acquire access to all of our accounts. As a result, our personal and financial information may be exposed and compromised. That's why it's critical to use a different and strong password for each account, allowing us to better safeguard our data and boost online security.

Clicking on unexpected links in emails or on websites, for example, can be harmful since they can take us to malicious websites meant to download malware onto our computer or obtain access to our personal and financial information. Some of these malicious sites resemble legitimate sites we know and trust, such as a bank or auction site, and might deceive us into providing our personal information. That is why it is critical to only click on links that come from a reliable source and to double-check the address of the page you are linking to. You may prevent risk and strengthen the security of your data on the Internet in this manner. Safe behavior: always check the URL before entering data into the form.

Sharing too much personal information about yourself and your location on social networking sites is one example of risky Internet usage. Your name, address, phone numbers, employment and educational details, as well as information about your daily activities and future goals, may be included in this. This amount of transparency can be risky since it might give hackers access to the data and enable them to exploit it for illegal activities like extortion or identity theft. It's crucial to limit the amount of information you disclose on social media and to avoid giving out too much personal information about yourself and your location.

Examples of safe behavior when using the Internet

One of the basic habits that we should develop when we are active Internet users is to use a strong and unique password for each of the accounts that we create on the Internet. The uniqueness of passwords means that for each of the accounts, such as e-mail, bank accounts, social networking sites, etc., we should use different passwords that will be difficult to guess. A strong password should consist of at least 8 and preferably 10 characters, including numbers, lowercase letters, uppercase letters, and special characters. Let's avoid creating passwords that contain our name, surname, date of birth, or wedding anniversary; these actions will protect our personal data or financial information that is most at risk. Using unique passwords also has the advantage that when one of your passwords is leaked, the other passwords are safe.

Another thing to keep in mind when using the internet is two-factor authentication (2FA). It adds an extra layer of security to our accounts by verifying our identity with two independent sources of information, such as a password and a one-time code sent to a mobile phone. The use of two-factor authentication protects us in the event that our passwords are compromised; access to the account is only possible if the second code is also entered correctly. This authentication increases the level of security of our online accounts and protects personal and financial data from unauthorized access. Due to the fact that more and more websites offer the option of two-factor authentication, we recommend using this function. We will certainly appreciate it when we least expect it.

Almost all of us use social networking sites, but few understand how critical it is to control privacy settings. Controlling settings is a process by which each user of a given social network can determine what information and data are made available on websites and to whom they are visible. Awareness of the possibility of changing settings and controlling them often increases security both on the Internet and in real life because data such as a home address, telephone number, or place of leisure are often used by cybercriminals for undesirable purposes. Furthermore, by providing information about the current location of vacation or multiple trips, we make it easier for thieves to attack our goods in the real world. Therefore, we recommend that you regularly check and update your privacy settings to keep us safe both online and offline.

Today, the use of the Internet is an integral part of our lives, both in professional and personal aspects. It undoubtedly has many advantages, but it is important to remember the dangers that can occur when we act too recklessly on the internet. Therefore, it is important to use the Internet consciously and carefully, because it will help to ensure the safety of us and our loved ones against the leakage of dangerous information. Let us also remember that "information is the most valuable currency," so let's protect it as much as we can.

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