Safer Internet Day is being celebrated globally tomorrow (February 7, 2017). Everyone, including individual users and organisations, is responsible for making the internet safer.
Rajesh Maurya, regional vice-president, India & Saarc, Fortinet talks to Sudhir Chowdhary on what everyone should do to ensure a safer digital environment.
What is “Safer Internet Day” about?
It is vital to note that the day is named ‘safer’ and not ‘safe’ because no technology as powerful as the internet will ever be entirely safe in this present state of digital affairs. The internet wasn’t designed with security in mind. To make things worse, we forget that our digital footprints are much bigger than what we think. The amount of sensitive data out there makes each individual vulnerable to ever-evolving threats.
“Safer Internet Day” is celebrated to address emerging online issues like cyberbullying and social networking and educate users on how to reduce and manage online risks. This year’s theme is ‘Be the change: Unite for a better internet’.
Everyone today uses a lot of connected devices. How safe is this?
Hacking smart devices is not really the problem. No one is interested in hacking into your smartwatch to figure out your exercise routines, or your weight loss plan. But they are using reconnaissance hacks to discover your passwords for the Wi-Fi network at work, or your account information for automatic online purchases, to steal or spoof your identity, or even to figure out when you are away from home.
What are the recommended safe practices for online and digital transactions?
To ensure a safer digital environment, we at Fortinet would recommend every user to adopt these practices for digital transactions:
Avoid making transactions on non-personal computers: Never make purchases in cybercafés, your workplace or in a friend
or neighbour’s house. These computers can keep web cookies, record your online behaviour, save your password and expose you to public Wi-Fi networks that can be hacked.
Install anti-malware and anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date: Routinely updating your software mitigates the risk of infection because new threats enter the cybersphere every day.
What about credit cards and bank account activity?
The more you use your card, the more likely you are to have its information stolen. It is safer to check your online banking page to see if there is an issue with your card regularly. Equally important, leave websites that require more than the standard transaction information.
In addition, avoid using ATM at public places. The best practice is to use ATMs of the bank that has issued the card to avoid data transmission through interbank communication infrastructure.
You may also like to watch this video
What would you advise for safe social media networking?
Users should be very discrete about what they put online, specifically on social media sites. Many attackers can and will use this information against you.
The bottom line is that everyone should know it is impossible to be 100% protected, unless you consider complete Internet abstinence as a solution. However, if we implement safe internet practices we can all play our little part and make the Internet safer.