According to polling, 65% of Europeans don’t think the Internet is safe. A Eurobarometer poll of over 33,000 EU respondents, conducted in September 2018, found that a majority believe the online world is not safe for its users.
From viruses and worms, to theft of private data, to extreme content, to the risk of “grooming” by online predators, to cyberbullying, to phishing scams, there are all sorts of risks online. Yet the opportunities afforded by the internet are so vast, surely they outweigh the dangers?
How can we improve our online safety? People should feel confident that they are interacting online and on social media in a way that minimises risks. So, what are the best practices when it comes to safety and security?
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Sarah, who thinks young people don’t care enough about their safety online, and are instead obsessed with the number of “views” and “likes” they get. Is she right?
To get a reaction, we spoke to Natasha Hanckel-Spice from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), an organisation working to counter political polarisation and extremism, as well as online (and offline) hate. ISD is also part of the judging panel for the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety 2019. What would she say to Sarah?
For another perspective, we put the same question to Chris Skinner, Senior Consultant for National Online Safety, a British organisation campaigning to improve online safety for children. How would he respond?
Finally, we put the same comment to Sarah Willoughby, Safer Internet Day (SID) Campaign Coordinator for European Schoolnet. How would she respond?
Should we be more worried about our safety online? Do young people care about “views” and “likes” more than their safety online? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
Image Credits: (c) BigStock – Sam Wordley
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