Being safe online is the combination of a number of factors; Security, Awareness, and Safety.
Cyber Security refers to the systems that are put in place to ensure that we can use the internet safely. These can include firewalls and adblockers to stop us going to websites that could harm our computers or accounts, data encryption to keep our information secure, and minimum password length and complexity so that your account can only be accessed by you.
Cyber Awareness is what we know about the internet, possible dangers, and how we can maintain our safety. The simplest way to stay safe online is to ensure that every account has a different password.Everything from school, to work, to social media, all having different passwords. Using the same password for everything might be more convenient, but it means that if one account is compromised, all of your accounts are compromised. This can lead to sensitive or personal data being taken, or your account being used to hurt you, or others.
Cyber Awareness also extends to knowing what websites or apps are safe, and which may be dangerous.
Cyber Safety is about how we act online. Just like how we cite sources in assignments, giving credit to online collaborators is important. If you use a song in a video you need to credit the artist and publisher, otherwise your content may be removed.
Consider your digital footprint, “the internet is forever” and what you post can follow you. For example, many employers conduct social media searches on applicants, and posts we thought we funny or harmless may come back to haunt us.
Likewise not every app needs to know where we are at all times; our mobile devices allow us to tailor what apps use which information about us, so spend some time going through your privacy settings and make sure you know which apps are using your information.
This post was developed in response to the University of Adelaide’s CSER course and the infographic below: