Although the internet is a wonderful resource, it also has a potentially dark side, which can make us feel vulnerable at times. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your safety in this digital environment. Before you begin to explore these, think about how safe you feel when you’re online.
Activity 1 How safe do you feel online?
Identifying where you feel vulnerable online will help you to focus on what you need to do in order to feel safer. In the audios below, Michael, Manuela and John talk about how they feel about online safety. As you listen, think about your own situation.
Use the box below to make some notes on how safe you feel online. Have you, or anyone you know, ever had a bad experience, for example, being scammed or dealing with a virus? Make a note of these experiences and jot down how that made you feel.
Your response to this activity will be personal to your own situation. Bad online experiences can often make people wary about using the internet. Some of the reasons why people feel unsafe are:
- the risk of being scammed
- finding out that your personal information has been lost or stolen
- lack of trust in internet companies
- not knowing what happens to your information when you are online
- not knowing how to protect yourself against viruses
- having an unpleasant exchange with someone on social media
- being offended by what you see on social media
- finding out that a video or photograph has gone viral, in other words, been shared beyond your immediate circle of friends.
In the next few sections, you will be given guidance on the basic steps you can take to ensure that you are safe online.