For better or worse, the Internet is a part of our everyday lives, but what exactly can be done to really ensure our online privacy and security? After all, it’s become commonplace to upload selfies to Instagram, tweet our every thought, and Foursquare every outing to Starbucks.
That’s why on February 11 — known around the world as “Safer Internet Day 2014” — you should think about things you already do — and things you could start doing — to safeguard your digital world.
Safer Internet Day has its roots in Europe but this is the first year a U.S.-based organization is taking the helm. Nonprofit ConnectSafely.org was appointed as the first U.S. host and is holding an exciting event in Washington, D.C. with lots of lively debate. The featured speaker will be noted privacy expert Senator Charles Schumer.
One Good Thing
Larry Magid, the co-director of Connect Safely, says the event reminds people to be safer in a positive way.
“Safety isn’t just the absence of danger but the presence of positive action and experiences,” explains Magid.
This year he and his team are trying to emphasize the positive as part of a campaign entitled “One Good Thing.” Instead of lecturing people, the focus is on showing role models and sharing concrete examples to promote Internet safety.
The event will also have two panels – one will have an adult asking young people about their online safety, while a teenager will moderate the adult panel (featuring executives from Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Xbox, and Google).
“We really want that intergenerational dialogue, and there will be at least 25 young people in the audience of the over 100 people attending. Young people are going to interview the executives on what the executives are doing to keep the Internet safe,” says Magid.
Understanding Media Literacy
A big part of safety is being in control of your own destiny – and we all need to be digitally literate. After all, what we see online isn’t always credible. Media literacy is a huge piece of the events at Safer Internet Day and every day.