Today is the 10th annual “Safer Internet Day” celebration in more than 100 countries on six continents. The idea is that you’re supposed to take a step back and think about how you can do a better job of keeping your private information more secure and keep yourself and your loved ones safe while surfing the web.
Google is participating again, and has updated its “Good To Know” site to fit in with its latest “Googly” design choices, along with some updated information on how you can leverage Google products for safety.
This year’s theme for Safer Internet Day is “Connect with respect.” Its purpose is to teach people about their online rights and responsibilities and Google has been a leader in the initiative. Its Director of Privacy of Product and Engineering, Alma Whitten, had this to say:
Protecting our users is one of our top priorities at Google. Whether it’s creating easy-to-use tools to help you manage your information online or fighting the bad guys behind the scenes, we’re constantly investing to make Google the best service you can rely on, with security and privacy features that are on 24-7 and working for you.
The Good to Know site, launched last year, is a campaign from the Mountain View giant to educate people, thus making them a little more comfortable with using the Internet for all of those little daily chores that are made easier thanks to technology. The site has been updated this year with a new design, as well as tips on how to protect yourself and your family from identity theft and fraud.
The interesting thing about online scams is that we all wonder who falls for them, but they wouldn’t exist unless people did fall for them. Yes, there is a section of the world that doesn’t fully understand that there are nefarious people trying to get information, and money, from them at all costs. Tomorrow’s day hopes to help folks out.
With mobile devices becoming so prevalent, especially for doing things like banking and buying things, information like this needs to be updated and people need to learn along the way.
Google’s example of keeping people safe includes how it handles what you do through its site, as Whitten explains:
We encrypt the Gmail and Google Search traffic between your computer and Google—this protects your Google activity from being snooped on by others. We also make this protection, known as session-wide SSL encryption, the default when you’re signed into Google Drive. Because outdated software makes your computer more vulnerable to security problems, we built the Chrome browser to auto-update to the latest version every time you start it. It gives you up-to-date security protection without making you do any extra work.
The key is that we don’t have to do any extra work to be more secure, and that’s what the world needs. Most people don’t understand what server side encryption means, and it’s quite scary to think about in fact.
Through its Chrome Browser, the company is identifying new phishing sites daily, to make sure that we don’t fall prey to those who want to steal our information.
Here’s a challenge, since you’re probably a well-educated Internet user: Reach out to someone who might not be, and ask them if they need any help or ideas on how to be safer. You’d be surprised how good it feels to educate and empower someone who isn’t as knowledgeable as you are. You can also download kits for kids on the Safer Internet Day site.
Photo credit: Flickr