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?

Want to learn more about online safety? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

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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10 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Jeroen

    The internet is mostly not safe from politicians who say they want to make it safe. They, in truth? Want to demolish it… and are well on their way

  2. avatar
    Pedro

    It’s a war zone! People fight and insult each other but doesn’t know why. Rage is everywhere, there’s no space, time and patience to listen to others and have a healthy conversation. Why should I just listen to the ones that agree with my ideas? 🙆 It’s from diversity that life can develop.
    People just feel hangry and fustrated because real life it’s getting harder. Harder mostly due to ideals of life transmitted by social media, showing as example to follow people with nice bodies, fancy cars, big houses where life looks easy and all fun. Most of those successful persons they had to work double, lost opportunities to be with friends and family to reach their dreams, it wasn’t easy so stop showing superficial achievements.
    Fake news it’s also one if not the biggest responsable for people being ass! Nowadays media doesn’t want to tell the truth, they just want to be first whatever it cost, doesn’t matter who they hurt or how they hurt! Just be first! 😥
    And this is internet but reflects real life…

  3. avatar
    Enric

    Internet is not safe so don,t publish anything of Major importance.

  4. avatar
    Wasim

    Do you think yourself it’s safe?
    What do you mean with safe? To which extent?
    It’s barely safe i can say

  5. avatar
    Valentin

    Internet it’s about free speech and access to information. But in this world there are a lot of bad people who seek to destroy these beutiful things.

  6. avatar
    Paulo

    If you want internet safe.
    You have to share and search safe content …
    Is the only way…

  7. avatar
    Saurav

    These days, young people care more about views and likes!! Today, everyone are becoming narcisist and wants everyone love and like what they comment. Our rationality is under serious attack after social media escalation :)

  8. avatar
    Ingrida

    Those “likes” and “views” are equal to the teenager’s “you must fit in”. If you are accepted by the environment you live in, that’s good. And the environment is mostly social media 😄 The problems occurs, once you fit in – you frame yourself, you add limits to yourself starting from freedom of thought 😂 If you don’t care about the “likes” and realise how fake those “likes” are – congrats, you grew up

  9. avatar
    Anatilde

    It’s not safe, that’s just facts

  10. avatar
    Johan

    Open borders are the bigger issue and abuse of our strained social security

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