Safer Internet Day 2018: Here’s how to remain safe in this technologically advanced world

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  • Niharika Mishra

From Aadhaar breach to credit card skimming, the internet is no safer today. As we celebrate Safer Internet Day 2018 on February 6 (Tuesday), with the theme of “create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you,” let’s pledge to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

The day is led by three charities – Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation.

Our children aren’t just inheriting some technology; they’re inheriting culture and behavior too.

The age at which should children be given access to social media sites in India has remained a topic of debate for quite some time now.

On the occasion, citizens’ engagement platform LocalCircles released the results of a survey that gauges the pulse of citizens on this subject.

Asked if children in India should be allowed social media accounts between the ages of 11-13 with parental consent, 61 percent responded in a negative while 34 percent said it should be allowed.

Growing up, I was always close to technology. I explored the vast world of the Internet from a young age. It wasn’t long before I fall victim to phishing attacks. As I got older, I started to see the repercussions of downloading dubious files and trusting everything I saw online. My computer speed came to a screeching halt as spyware and malware swarmed in and bogged down my system.

The internet is rapidly changing and new cybersecurity risks surface every day. So, that means should we stop using the technology and start using the traditional means? The answer is ‘No’.

But, being informed, you can easily tackle these attacks.

How to keep yourself safe from hackers, scammers:

  • Use Secure Passwords. It is advisable to make a ‘strong’ password with 8 or more characters and a combination of uppercase characters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t create passwords such as your date of birth, your name or your spouse name.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), if available, is another way of verifying your identity
    other than just a username and password. 2FA is comprised of something you know- such as a password, something you have- a mobile phone that a code can be sent to, or something you are- such as a fingerprint.
  • Don’t do online banking on public Wi-Fi, unless absolutely necessary.
  • “Congratulations! You won Rs 1 crore. Please send your banking details.” Have you ever receive this message? If yes, then do not get carried away and don’t click on dodgy email links claiming to be from banks or lottery agencies.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Most social media sites will
    give you options to select who you are sharing your information with. Use privacy
    settings on social media networking sites too.
  • If you are a shopaholic, please avoid shopping from weird website and use secure e-
    commerce sites only.

How can you keep your kids safe online?

  • Parents are advised to follow strict norms which include limiting the number of time kids
    spend online, and which sites they are allowed to access.
  • Be updated with the latest technologies and trends and pass them on to your children
    while talking to them openly about internet abuse.
  • A parent should talk about sex to children. Curiosity about sex is a natural step from
    learning about the body. Sex education also provides an opportunity to instill your family values in your kids. Sex education from an early age helps children in falling prey to wrong websites.

 

 

As the world is progressing, the thefts are also adapting themselves to the technological
advancements. The most recent is credit card skimming, which is a type of credit card theft where crooks use a small device to steal credit card information in an otherwise legitimate credit or debit card transaction. When a credit or debit card is swiped through a skimmer, the device captures and stores all the details stored in the card's magnetic strip.

What should cardholders do in case of ATM breach?

  • Debit card holders must change their ATM password/PIN immediately.
  • Visit bank branch and check for the safety of your money in your bank account.
  • In case of any discrepancy or doubt, ask for a fresh new debit card or card replacement or re-carding from your bank manager.

To avoid being a victim, follow these precautions:

  • Set up SMS or email alerts for every form of transaction.
  • Monitor your bank statements regularly.
  • Don’t link accounts for automatic transfer of funds.
  • Change your ATM Pin and online passwords on a regular basis to avoid misuse.
  • Don’t keep easy passwords. It is advisable to keep lengthy passwords.
  • Do for digital and paperless banking to avoid misuse.
  • Don’t keep all your money in a single account.

Meanwhile, Google India on Monday launched a public initiative “Security Check Kiya” to
protect young and first-time web users from account hijacking, safeguard Android devices from malicious apps and secure all their personal data if they lose their device.

“With a large base of unsuspecting first time Internet users now coming online through easy access modes but lacking technical literacy, Indian users are increasingly vulnerable to bad actors and abuse on the web”, the company said in a statement.

All you need to know about the initiative:

  • To protect account hijacking, all Android devices and Gmail users can review their
    security settings and Google account activity with one click “Google Security“. This
    automatically scans for any vulnerability and guides users to keep their account safe.
  • To safeguard Android devices from malicious apps, users can scan and check Android
    device for through Google Play Protect.
  • Google Play Protect scans all apps for malware before and after you install them and is
    automatically enabled on your device.
  • To secure all personal data if an Android device is lost, users can download “Find My Device” app and it will help you to easily locate a lost Android device and keeps device and information secure.

So, do not let internet harm you, and make our country a better place to live in.

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