Safer Internet Day 6th February 2018: Why is This Important?

Safer Internet Day 2018 will take place again this year on Tuesday 6th February with the theme ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect: a better internet starts with you.’ But what is Safer Internet Day, and why is it important?

Safer Internet Day is an annual global event and was founded in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre. This annual awareness day sees hundreds of companies, organizations, schools and educational establishments join forces to raise awareness of online safety issues and the importance of data security in organizations worldwide.

Safer Internet Day is an important initiative across the globe as it focuses on teaching the next generation of internet users the importance of online and data security and it inspires the safe and positive use of data and technology.

On February 6 2018 there will be a series of national youth events, media coverage, a day of trending across all social media channels, internal communication campaigns in businesses and organizations and activities in universities, colleges and schools with the express aim of reaching as many people as possible to spread key messages about staying safe online.

To celebrate Safer Internet Day, we have put together 5 key things that all organizations can do to help them protect their data securely and safely:

Patch up Your Systems

Unpatched laptops or machines are more likely to have software vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a hacker. Organizations must ensure they keep their systems up to date with the latest updates and patches to stop vulnerabilities where hackers could get in and steal pertinent information.

Always Choose Strong Passwords

When creating passwords make sure they contain a mix of letters, special characters and numbers. A useful tip is to create a mental acronym that is easy for you to remember.  Use an online tool such as Lastpass to keep track of all your passwords, and make sure you have different passwords for different accounts.

Control Access to Your Laptop or Desktop

Never leave your computer in an unsecured area, or unattended and logged on especially in public places such as railway stations, restaurants, café’s and airports. We may be a connected 24/7 world and able to work on the go and in places where we would never have dreamed of 20 years ago, but this can compromise the security of your data, so always be vigilant wherever you are working.

Always use Secure Connections

Your data can be vulnerable when you are connected to the internet, especially while in transit, so always use secure connections that you trust when working from public places. Use VPN’s and secure file transfer options when working on the move, and securely remove sensitive data files from your hard drive while using encryption tools built into your operating system to protect any sensitive files or data.

Backing up is King

Make sure you regularly back up your systems and computers as this can help protect you from the unexpected. Always keep a few months’ worth of back-ups and always ensure your files can be retrieved if needed.

To find out more about Safer Internet Day and to get involved in this global initiative, visit www.saferinternetday.org.uk and join the conversation by using the following hashtags on social media – #SID2018 or #ItStartsWithUs.

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