Safer Internet Day: Here are the things that may be compromising your internet safety

The Safer Internet Day (SID) was conceived by the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and is observed in the month of February every year. The SID initiative aims to increase awareness about issues such as cyberbullying, online threats and a topic reflecting current concerns is selected each year as the theme.

This year, the theme for the Safer Internet Day initiative is ‘Together for a better internet’. The SID initiative was taken up by InSafe, a network of European Commission and internet safety bodies. Now, the initiative has spread to over 150 countries, including India.

Google Security Check

On the occasion of SID, Google is asking its users to perform a security check to ensure that your Google account is secure. Visit and click on ‘Take a 2-minute Security Checkup to strengthen your account’.

Mistakes that may be compromising your internet safety

Weak passwords

Using weak passwords such as ‘password’, ‘123456’, your name, phone number makes it easy for others to guess it. You should use strong and unique passwords, especially for important and personal accounts.

Using public computers

If you are using public computers in colleges or libraries, ensure that your session is not being monitored by anyone and remember to log out.

If it is absolutely necessary for you to log into your account, we recommend you use incognito mode. When you browse in incognito mode, your account details and history are not stored on the computer.

Installing random apps without checking their reliability

This is one of the most common mistakes that compromises your safety in the virtual world. Installing random apps can seem harmless, but you couldn’t be more wrong, especially since our smartphones can have some really important and private information on them.

Not locking your computer when you’re away

Leaving your computer unlocked when you’re away from your desk can render it vulnerable. It’s like leaving your home open when you’re out to purchase your groceries.

When you don’t leave your home open, you shouldn’t leave your computer unlocked either.

Reusing passwords

Using weak passwords is one thing but using the same password for several or all of your accounts is just very lazy. Admittedly, no one likes to remember dozens or hundreds of passwords, and that is where password managers come into play.

Always set unique passwords for your accounts. You can save them all using a reliable password manager like LastPass, 1Password, KeePass or DashLane.

Sharing sensitive pictures on social media

Or as it is otherwise called, oversharing. Anything that you post on the internet is highly likely to stay on the internet even if you delete it from your account.

Things like checking into your home or work location on social media, sharing pictures of your kids, home or other private details gives cybercriminals a great deal of useful information that would otherwise not be available. This could then be used against you to wreak havoc in your life.

Always be careful about what you share on the internet.

Opening emails from strangers

Emails with links to phishing websites is a very old trick used by hackers. If you notice an email offering you tons of money, make sure it is from an actual lottery you participated in.

If an email contains an attachment, it is extremely important that you make sure you know who the sender is. Same goes for anyone who asks you for your personal information.

As a rule of thumb, it is important that you verify even if you trust the website or the sender. If something seems too good or too fishy, then you should back out before divulging anything important.

See also:

How to stop your debit/credit card information from reaching the dark web

The most hacked accounts use passwords like - Iloveyou, 12345 and princess

Google Chrome will now alert you when your password has been stolen

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