The advent of the internet brought with it vast opportunities that can be exploited by various individuals either for social or professional objectives. With all its advantages, the internet has posed a lot of dangers to the online users. Of particular concern are the vulnerable groups such as children. It is not surprising that the internet has been compared to the Wild West. The Wild West of America has provided both opportunities and dangers in equal measure. The following are some of the risks associated with the use of the internet:
-Exposure to inappropriate internet materials
-Insecurity over personal information.
Having said that, understanding and eventually adopting the most effective ways of promoting online safety is a matter of paramount importance.
There are various ways in which one can ensure online safety, both for personal safety and the safety of other parties. To start with, you should only share only enough information without stating extra personal information. In other words, when it comes to filling personal information through the web, only answer what you are asked. For example, identity theft is based on the ability of other users to assess your personal data and information.
Second, it is not uncommon for the password to compromised. In this regard, one should avoid writing down the passwords more so if one’s diary and other writing material is accessible to others. In addition to that, the password should not be obvious. For example, if you create a password based on the state you were born in, New Jersey for instance, it would not be very difficult for an online criminal to guess the password. It is advisable that a password has numbers, does not show a similarity with the user name, and uses a combination of upper and lower cases.
Third, the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) is very important. This is because it helps you to to protect your online activity from prying eyes more so when in the wifi hotspots. Most importantly, it helps you in ensuring secured network connections and lays a solid security infrastructure.
Fourth, the Family Online Safety Institute provides guidelines and policy concerning how parents and caregivers can ensure online safety for their children. It should be noted that the children are particularly vulnerable to cyber-bullying and other internet risks. In this regard, parents can act as a resource in ensuring that the parents and caregivers use internet opportunities safely. More engagement with the children on the various challenges posed by the internet landscape can be promote responsible behavior among the children and promote their online safety.
Lastly, the government should lay down legislation that makes cyber crime more difficult. By extension, law enforcement agencies should be more aggressive in hunting down internet criminals. It has been observed that successful litigation on crimes is an effective deterrence to new cases of crime.
The positive value of the internet cannot be underestimated. Similarly, the risks posed by the use of the internet cannot be underestimated. Recognize the various internet risks will give room for effective interventions to both the adults and the children. Overall, online safety is the responsibility of the individual online users, families, the public and private sector, and the government.