Safer Internet Day takes place annually on February 7. It’s a wonderful reminder to continue practicing safe internet habits and to inspire others to do the same. The slogan, “Together for a better internet” is so important to us. As a trusted managed IT provider that supports nonprofits, higher education institutions, and healthcare organizations, we are committed to showing our clients how technology can be used for good by helping them better serve their communities. In this post, we will discuss more about Safer Internet Day, why it’s important, and concrete steps you can take to stay more secure online.
About Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day began in 2004 as an initiative by the EU SafeBorders project. A year later, the Insafe network adopted the project and has since expanded it across 180 countries and territories around the world. Insafe is a European network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs), but the initiative has expanded beyond Europe via Safer Internet Day (SID) Committees.
Now, over 150 SID Committees around the world work closely with the Safer Internet Day Coordination Team, headquartered in Brussels. Together, they have put together a variety of helpful safer internet resources for everyone — from children and adults to educators and businesspeople. The resources are multilingual and provide “a space where leaders in the internet safety community can communicate with the public and exchange ideas, knowledge and experience with each other.”
Why Is Safer Internet Day Important?
The internet has become an important part of our daily lives. While this brings about many benefits such as increased interconnectivity, improved access to resources, and more opportunities to learn virtually, it also poses many risks. From cyberbullying to cyber crimes, the internet can leave your personal information vulnerable and exposed to hackers. Safe internet usage comes down to the right education. With proper awareness, training, and resources, we can all do our part to stay safer online.
Safer Internet Tips
While there are many steps you can take to stay more secure online, here are a few of our top ways to keep your organization more secure:
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Whenever possible, enable Multi-Factor Authentication for your accounts. This adds an additional layer of security to your accounts through an online application, account, or a VPN. Rather than simply entering your username and password, MFA prompts you to enter additional information, such as a PIN, a confirmation on your smartphone, or even a fingerprint. What’s more, it’s shown to prevent 99.9% of hackers.
- Create stronger passwords: Practicing strong password habits is an important skill to protect your business and personal accounts. Instead of using a single word, we recommend using a phrase (from a quote or a song, for example), as well as a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Utilize email protection: Email protection is critical for all businesses, especially because emails are a common place where malware and ransomware can take place. There are a variety of ways to protect you and your team, including spam filtering, password policies, phishing tests, and more.
- Develop ongoing cybersecurity awareness training for your team: Your team is often the first line of defense against a potential cyberattack, so it’s important to invest and develop ongoing cybersecurity training specific to your unique risks. This may include quizzes, phishing simulations, and tips to identify social engineering scams.
- Perform ongoing cybersecurity tests: From networks to the cloud, continuous, 24/7/365 monitoring may be what your business needs to ensure protection. This will allow you to respond proactively and appropriately if threats arise. Additionally, conducting quarterly or annual penetration tests and vulnerability scans will allow you to stay secure.
Stay Safer With Varsity
For an additional layer of security, consider partnering with a trusted IT provider like Varsity. We offer a range of managed security services to protect your organization and meet your budget. We’re passionate about educating small businesses and non-profit organizations about how to stay safer and more secure online. We will work diligently to find the best solution for your needs and budget. Learn more about our managed security services or schedule a call with us to see how we can customize a security solution for you.