Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 is the 20th anniversary of Safer Internet Day! The motto this year is Together for a Better Internet. Safer Internet Day started as an “initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network as one of its earliest actions in 2005, Safer Internet Day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in approximately 180 countries and territories worldwide.”
Some of the most prominent topics this year are:
Internet safety doesn’t have to be hard. Here are a few simple things we recommend to take care of your digital footprint.
Private / Public Social Media Accounts
Whether you’re a business owner, influencer, or just online often, we recommend keeping your personal account separate from your business or creative account. Setting your personal accounts to private and keeping your personal day-to-day posts locked in that account will offer a higher level of protection from internet scams and harassment.
It’s harder for someone to guess your password or send phishing messages if they don’t know about your personal life.
Password Managers are a great way to keep track of all your unique passwords. The longer and more complex your passwords are, the more difficult it is for someone to guess them and take over your accounts (or steal personal information).
We understand that there may be some fear over using a password manager, considering the recent news about LastPass’ breaches. However, most password managers do not store your master key within the password vault or within the company’s records. So even if data is stolen, as scary as that sounds, in a lot of cases that data is still encrypted and protected. At Edge Networks, we use 1Password as our password vault, and have been very happy with the service!
Of course, we always recommend using strong, unique, and long passwords, but one thing we recommend to people who really feel that they can’t use a unique password for every single online account they have is to organize their accounts into three different tiers. The first tier would be lower stakes sites that might have less security and may be more likely to be compromised, such as shopping websites. The next tier would be bigger businesses such as Amazon, or maybe your Healthcare account. The final tier would be reserved for high stakes information such as loans, your bank account, social security, etc.
Doing this is still risky, but it at least ensures that if a more lower-stakes account gets compromised and the low tier password is leaked, that same password won’t give hackers access to your more high-stakes accounts. This way, you’ll also know what other accounts in that tier will need their password changed.
Plus Email Addressing
Plus email addressing is an incredibly helpful tool in the event of a data breach. This type of email addressing allows you to add a “+” sign and additional words after your username, and have the email still be delivered to the same address.
For example, if your email address is email@example.com and you wanted to create a new account on the Target website, you could use the email firstname.lastname@example.org and the email would still be delivered to email@example.com.
If you get hit with a phishing email or a spam email and you want to know where the attacker got your email from, you are able to go in and see the recipient address they sent it to. If that address is firstname.lastname@example.org, you know the account that was breached was your Target account. This is a great way to create accountability and keep good track of your data being compromised without having to create a new email account for each account that you make.
Remember to Stay Safe Online
Safer Internet Day is a great reminder that we can play a role in a safer internet not only today, but every day of the year. One of the easiest ways to get involved with Safer Internet Day is by starting conversations and raising awareness with the people around you, whether it’s your partner, children, work colleagues, parents, friends, or clients.
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about protecting your business’ data online.