Modern technology gives us many things.

Today is Safer Internet Day – and the message is stay safe and be kind online

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Today is Safer Internet Day and what better day for the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant to encourage Australians to play it safe and fair online.

“We’re calling on all Australians to promote positive behaviours online,” Ms Grant said.

“We believe that we can show the world that there is no place for online abuse and discrimination on the Internet.

“Just by being safe, respectful and kind we can all play fair online.”

The NBN, which provides secure and reliable internet to mor than 8.4 million Australian premises, has thrown its support behind the eSafety Commissioner and is encouraging users to support this year’s theme to Play It Fair Online.

NBN Chief Security Officer, Darren Kane, says Safer Internet Day is a great time to remind Australians to stay safe on the internet and to treat others with respect.

“Technology can make our lives easier in so many ways and has even more so during the pandemic,” Kane says.

“With everything from working and schooling from home to gaming and online entertainment, it is really important to be aware of online safety and how we might interact with others.”

“eSafety is the world’s first government agency solely committed to keeping citizens safer online and the Commissioner plays an important role in helping to safeguard people at risk from online harms and to promote safer, more positive online experiences.

“As internet users, we can also help by doing our bit by following some simple tips to contribute to a safe environment online for everyone.”

Here are the NBN’s tips to help all people across Australia play fair online are:

– Think before you post – consider whether your actions are harmful to yourself or to others

– Update your security and privacy settings – take a moment to check the privacy settings on your family’s devices

and apps.

– Take charge of your location settings – we all need them for maps or ordering dinner, but remember to turn

location off when you are not using it as it can be used to track you.

– Practice safe browsing – don’t open suspicious links or open unsolicited emails. Keep informed on current cyber

threats.

– Raise your voice about online abuse – report it to the relevant platforms, the eSafety commissioner or the Police.  Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites provide community rules to follow. If you or someone you know sees something that is not respectful, you can anonymously make a report and ask the site to remove it.

But staying safe online takes a bit of work and it also means we have to adopt an “on guard” mindset to avoid being tricked or scammed.

Jacqueline Jayne, Security Awareness Advocate APAC, at KnowBe4 says we can make cyber criminals’ lives harder and stay safe online by following a few basic tips.

Here are her tips:

  1. Don’t fall for social engineering scams

Most successful attacks are the result of some kind of trick or scam. You may receive emails or chat messages which offer you a deal or tell you how your account has been suspended in the attempt to get you to click on a link and submit details or download a malicious file. Remember, if anything evokes an emotional response and seeks to get you to act immediately, stop.

  1. Keep software up to date

Keep all your computers, devices, and software up to date with the latest versions and patches. That alone can save your devices from being compromised.

  1. Use unique passwords

Passwords are part of daily life, and there are many rules around how long and complex they should be. Perhaps the most overlooked rule though is to have unique passwords for each site. Many people reuse the same password across many sites, but the danger is that if a criminal gets hold of your password, they will try that password against every other site they can think of and cause untold damage.