Tips for staying safe online

Safer Internet Day

The Internet is present throughout the modern world, used in personal, professional, and educational environments. Children learn how to use a touch screen before they start talking and teenagers enjoy playing games, social media, or studying.

But with the ubiquity of the Internet comes the prevalence of security concerns and cyber threats. These threats led to the development of Safer Internet Day, a campaign designed to encourage everyone – from children to parents and educators – to play their part in creating a better Internet. To mark this day, Fortinet shares some tips for staying safe online:

Educating and Encouraging Positive Change

  • Explain to your family and friends how they can keep personally identifiable information private online, encouraging them not to share their real names with strangers or give out information about where they live.
  • Establish clear rules about online for children and adolescents; including, for example, creating lists of websites and apps that are trusted or that require adult approval for certain activities.
  • Make sure everyone in the family understands the importance of strong passwords, how to create them, and why they shouldn’t share those passwords with anyone else. Other best practices regarding passwords include producing a different password for each account, avoiding common phrases, and including numbers and special characters.
  • Talk to your family about media literacy and how to spot inauthentic sources and potential scams.
  • Explain what phishing attempts are and how to identify them. Make it clear that no one should click on a suspicious link or open unknown attachments.
  • Encourage children and teens to come to a trusted adult if they have questions about something they find on the Internet or if they have concerns about a particular website.

Anticipate potential threats

  • Review the apps you and your family use and talk about any safety concerns about using them.
  • Install proper antivirus software and other security features such as parental controls on your devices to prevent threats.
  • Avoid using public WiFi unless you have a secure VPN connection or wait until you’re home to connect to a secure and trusted network.
  • Encourage the use of multi-factor authentication to help provide extra layers of security.
  • Encourage installation of software updates.
  • Confirm that online purchases are made from secure websites. The FortiGuard Labs Threat Study shows that e-commerce platforms are frequently targeted by cyber-attacks.

Being online opens the door to a variety of cyber threats, from social engineering attacks to data breaches. By taking appropriate measures and following certain practices, you are helping to create a safer Internet for everyone.

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