Safer Internet day 2024

Safer Internet Day for Employees

6 February 2024

‘Safer Internet Day’ is celebrated in February every year, on the Tuesday of the second week. This year Safer Internet Day is being observed on the 6th of February, Tuesday. It is an initiative that was first taken up by the European Union (EU) as a part of their Safe Borders project in the year 2004. The slogan they follow is “together for a better internet.”

Fact - The very first Safer Internet Day was celebrated in February 2005!

The internet is a big and beautiful place! It brings people and communities together. It enlightens minds and makes life easier for everyone. It is a part of our daily lives. Now, it is almost impossible to imagine a world before the internet existed. However, due to its easy accessibility, it requires one to be cautious about safety. The major security concerns are those of privacy and online safety. Information leaks, hacking and scams are ever increasing, especially over the past few years.

Some trivia - Commercial internet service providers (ISPs) first emerged in 1989 in the United States and Australia.

Key takeaways from this article - Safer Internet Day is an event that is celebrated in various parts of the world and aims to spread information about online safety. It is a relatively new phenomenon but is slowly gaining more importance. With this celebration, organizations try to issue guidelines and spread information about how to use the internet safely and make it a better place for everyone!

Why is Safer Internet Day celebrated?
Safer Internet Day is an initiative that aims to make the internet a better and safer place for all users. Safer Internet Day was first introduced to further strengthen bonds between countries. Currently, 150 Safer Internet Day committees are working together with the Safer Internet Coordination Team which is located at the European Union in Brussels. Not many know about it, but Safer Internet Day is something that deserves more attention and awareness because it is the need of the hour, especially with the rapidly increasing hold the internet is gaining over our lives every day. If a user happens to sign in to an unsafe internet connection, it can result in data leaks or a virus entering the device. This could be really hazardous for both the user as well as the device as it can get corrupted or hacked. While the internet is extremely useful and makes life very easy for everyone, it can be misused for the wrong reasons. Safer Internet Day aims to spread awareness about these things among internet users, especially kids and teenagers. It plays a significant role in saving people from harm and preventing online risks. Safer Internet Day is considered to be the UK’s biggest celebration of online safety.

Why is it an important day?
Online safety is a growing concern in today’s world which is governed by the internet. While data leaks and privacy breaches are the most common concerns, especially for big corporations, the internet also presents dangers like financial fraud, impersonation etc. With the internet being available for everyone to use freely, Safer Internet Day serves as a reminder for everyone to make the internet a safe place and also to take the necessary precautions for their own safety and well-being. 

How is Safer Internet Day celebrated?
Safer Internet Day is celebrated differently in different parts of the world. The main aim is to raise awareness about online safety and other issues arising on the internet. From cyberbullying to digital identity theft to social media, Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of existing and emerging online issues and current concerns every year. 
As a part of the celebrations, schools, colleges and offices often organise talks or campaigns that give out information regarding Safer Internet Day, guidelines to ensure online safety etc.
Every year, there is a certain theme for the celebration. This year the theme is ‘Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online’. The theme is pretty self-explanatory.

What are some ways in which the internet can be made safer for employees?

  1. Set internet usage policies for your workplace
    While everyone is entitled to their privacy, it is essential for employers to have policies in place that outline which websites can or cannot be accessed by employees on company devices or in the company premises, using the company’s network. This is to ensure that suspicious activities are avoided.

  2. Implement strong security measures
    Implement strong security measures on company devices like laptops, ipads and even mobile phones to protect company data and prevent leaks and hacking. Some of these measures are installation of firewalls, encryption protocols and intrusion detection systems.

  3. Urge employees to install anti-virus software on their devices
    Anti-virus software is extremely important to safeguard your device from viruses. Employers must strongly urge all their employees to have these software installed on their devices.

  4. Organise training sessions about safe internet usage
    Mandatory training sessions can be held in order to spread awareness about the risks, not just to the employees individually, but also to the company as a whole. The internet usage policies of the company can be shared in these training sessions clearly. 

  5. Do not use unprotected sites
    Using unprotected sites can lead to viruses entering the device which can lead to the software getting corrupted. It can also cause data leaks. It is best to avoid this. Sites that carry pirated content also often lead to hacking and data leaks and should be avoided. 

  6. Employees should not share their work account/device passwords with anyone
    Sharing passwords with people gives them access to all your personal information including photos, text messages etc. This can also lead to company data leaks.

Safer Internet Day is a very important initiative and should be observed worldwide!