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Could you be doing more to create a better internet?

Sarah shares her tips for Safer Internet Day 2017


Written by Sarah Chadwick and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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The internet is such a good thing and our generation has grown up with the best resources yet, there is tonnes of information out there that we can now access with the click of a button. But that said we must be careful how we use it, and the amount of information we give out. As too much information can attract unwanted attention and spam, cyber bulling etc. But there are ways to keep our experience as safe as possible by ‘uniting to create a better internet’ which is what Safer Internet Day 2017 is all about.

These are all things that will make the internet safer by uniting but there are many things that are a lot more personal and private but for keeping your internet experience safe are very important.

  • Cyber bullying can be severe or quite mild but either way it’s not good. With physical bullying the ‘stand-byers’ are considered just as bad as the bully themselves. Online bullying is just the same, if you see anyone receiving abusive or offensive comments don’t just stand by, you can anonymously report the user who is making these nasty comments.
  • If you have been hacked or someone has attempted to hack you, don’t keep it quiet as telling people about it could help stop the same thing happening to someone else.
  • Everyone has a right to voice their opinion on their own social media but sometimes these opinions could be attacking a small group of people or one person. So, to make the internet more united remember that other people’s opinions matter just as much as yours so make sure that you respect them and if you do have a problem with what they’re saying make sure you’re not attacking them with your views.
  • Apps or accounts that allow you to post things anonymously are useful for people who may be too shy to say things on their own social media accounts but these apps/ websites can also be a huge ground for cyber bullying as there is no direct consequences. A good thing to do is just not to respond to internet trolls and block the user if it’s anonymous, then a good thing to do is just choose the option to stop receiving questions from anonymous accounts altogether.
  • Linking in with the above point, replying to internet trolls is one of the worst things you could do as it gives them the attention that they’re looking. The best thing to do is just block and report, block, and report!
  • Another very important thing is to be careful what you post online as some time in the future an employer may be looking through your social media history so it’s important that whatever you post now you will be okay with in five, ten, even 20 years from now.

These are all things that will make the internet safer by uniting but there are many things that are a lot more personal and private but for keeping your internet experience safe are very important. 

These are things such as…

  • Don’t click ‘remember me’ on devices that will be used by other people. Be cautious using free Wi-Fi.
  • Don’t send naked photos to anyone you don’t 100% trust, if they don’t understand that you don’t want to send them then they’re not worth your while. If you receive unwanted explicit pictures from a stranger just block and report the account.
  • Regularly check ‘active sessions’ in settings to see where your account has recently been logged into and use passwords that include capital letters, numbers etc.
  • If you’re passing on a phone, check that it’s completely reset including iCloud as photos and notes can be synchronized without you knowing.
  • When signing up for online banking make sure to read the terms and conditions and what they will and will not ask you for i.e. they will never ask for your pin over the phone. Make sure emails are authentic, lookout for fake bank emails/ statements. Check bank details/expenditure regularly for any suspicious behaviour. Consider using PayPal for paying for online shopping. 
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Published February 6th, 2017
Tags online safety internet safety safer internet day
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