It seems the whole world is online, more so than ever before. On this years’ International Safer Internet Day (SID) we have chosen to share with the public our message via the social media platform, to promote the importance of online safety and protection.
The online world has never seen more traffic than in the last year. Those few that were not using the internet regularly before the pandemic, are now active members of the online community. Our current generation has seen a larger transfer of daily societal activity into the cyber realm, than in all of human history. Unfortunately, along with this ever growing online presence, the threat to our personal security is rising as well. Cyber attacks, hacking and cyberbullying have all risen immensely (online attacks and hacking attempts were up 600 % in 2020). Cyber security expert Karol Suchánek has prepared a list of practical tips, on how to protect yourself on social media, what to watch out for, and what the consequences are when people use internet platforms irresponsibly.
The goal of this non-profit campaign is to reach the largest possible group of people, via notable members of the online community (specifically on Instagram). In turn, these influencers can challenge their followers to strive and maintain a balanced and healthy form of communication with others on the social media platform, which can help prevent other user’s personal accounts and information from being manipulated, misused or stolen. These influencers and their fans, can, with active support, share this message, and in so doing, make the internet a safer place.
Internet Safety affects us all
The majority of people who use social media mainly to communicate with friends and family, may think that these security issues do not apply to them. Most feel that these negative scenarios only apply to people who actively make a living off of social media, and that their accounts will not be affected, because they do not see themselves in the same risk category as a public person on social media. But it is a mistake to think that just because a person is private, that their content on their account is not accessible to people who exploit that information for their own gain. So who really is the most at-risk? It is all those, who use online platforms to communicate both privately and publicly; from published articles, to private email servers.
Why is this year different?
The pandemic has moved almost all aspects of our daily lives online. Students aRend classes from their laptops, employees maintain their ‘home office’ routines, online shopping is more and more popular, and of course, most of our communication is via email and social media.
What should we watch out for?
The risks online are immeasurable. From unintentionally downloading viruses, receiving unexpectedly large bills for online pay-by-play games, stolen identity and fraud cases, unlicensed use of private photos and accounts, loss of sensitive information, online bullying, cyber stalking to online predators, the internet harbors many potentially dangerous scenarios.
Like in the real world, the internet is full of a variety of parents with different approaches to raising their kids. But without supervision, many children practically live online, their parents unaware of the risks that may await their child. Children that you would never let out into the real world without protection, now have free reign in the cyber world, with little or no limits on the content that they may have access too. This is why we feel that the information this campaign details is so important to share, and that teaching young adults, children and their parents, on how to communicate with each other and protect themselves is not only practical – it is vital.
Together for a better (online) world
One of the co-authors of the campaign is Karol Suchánek, cyber security expert, legal expert in the cyber safety field and NATO approved; “My goal is to teach as many people as possible the skills they need for online safety, because the biggest risk to the online world is a lack of awareness. There is no drivers’ license required to use the internet, and there are no highway laws. We are ‘first settlers’ of a sort, and that is why we must be cautious. It is never too early to learn about cyber security. First, the parent should be the most comfortable in this online “home”, set a good example and teach these good and safe habits to their family members. In the past, people shared their experiences with their children while they were seated on one knee, and today, these gems of information and know-how on how to live a safe life, though we now live in the online world-still apply even when we’re in front of a screen. Strong passwords, recognizing fake websites, fake profiles and hoaxes, preventing phining, the rules and guidelines of posting photos or adding friends on social media platforms, and knowing how to privatize one’s account or limit access to select people that we know… This is just a part of the list of basic rules, the standard skills of the 21st century, that every person using the internet today should be able to apply. If we should think about online safety at least once a year, what better day than today?”
One of the co-authors of the campaign is Kristína Mohrová, artist manager and graphic designer, who applies her skill set to this project in two different ways: “As an artist manager, I am fully aware of the responsibility owed to fans, by any respected and self aware public personality in the real world, but also their responsibility online. As a graphic designer, I monitor my clients and the way they share information and how they communicate online responsibly, how to protect their brand and their profiles on social media. Based on my own personal experience while working for clients (stolen Instagram accounts) ,and the desire to learn as much as possible, I chose to participate in this cause to help anyone who lacks the knowledge in how to navigate the online world. Working with Karol is a privilege, not only because he is an invaluable expert in is field, but he is also a friend, thanks to whom I can avoid many of these high risk online scenarios. Of course, the two of us cannot do all this alone, and that’s why I am so grateful to our campaign ambassadors, who will share this cause with us on the 9.2.2020.”
Personalities who support the campaign : Dara Rolins, Celeste Buckingham, Viktor Vincze, Simona Krainová, Veronika Cifrová Ostrihoňová, Adriana Poláková, Matej Tóth, Boris Valábik and more.