Staying safe online with Microsoft on Safer Internet Day

Today is a special day. It’s National Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras, and the day after Chinese New Year but there’s one more day that today is, say that five times fast, Safer Internet Day. As the name suggests it’s all about keeping people safe online, especially younger people.

Microsoft celebrates this day every year and this year is no different. They’re holding events at Microsoft Stores to teach people how to be safe online and have advice in their latest blog post. Here’s a brief summary of the points made in their blog post and some added comments from us.

  • Defend your devices: Keep devices up to date and be careful what you download, especially attachments in emails and over social media.
  • Protect your personal information: Be careful who you give your information to. Don’t give out bank information or other sensitive information unless you really know who is receiving it.
  • Keep an eye out for scams: People pretend to be genuinely in need or try to scam you in other ways. Keep a lookout for scams.
  • Use strong passwords: You know how websites suggest a ridiculously long password with a punctuation mark, an upper case letter, a lower case letter, and a number? That’s with good reason. Easy passwords are much easier to hack.
  • Bing yourself: Check out your online identity. You want a good reputation and search engines help you see what others see. Incidentally, this is also good advice for when you’re applying for jobs.
  • Help keep children safe online: Microsoft wisely suggests a “mix of guidance and monitoring.” Both are needed since kids have to make their own decisions. They suggest rules, molding rules around your children’s ages, and paying attention to what they do online.

These tips should seem like second nature to most people but remember that you learned these at one point as well. Hopefully people can learn from other’s mistakes rather than having to mess up on their own. There are more things you can do to stay safe online but this is a solid beginning from Microsoft.

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What other advice do you have for staying safe online?