This year’s theme is very clear, and it’s all about you: "Play your part for a better internet!"
My thanks to the guys at Sophos for this gem.
Yesterday was Safer Internet Day (9.2.2016), #SID2016.
This year’s theme is very clear, and it’s all about you: “Play your part for a better internet!”
In other words, it’s not about how to use technology to protect yourself; it’s not about what your ISP should do to keep you safe; it’s not about how everyone else can keep you safe, although all those things are both important and useful.
This year, more than ever, Safer Internet Day is about asking not what the internet can do for you, but what you can do for the internet.
ALTRUISM BEGINS AT HOME
But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look out for yourself.
In fact, the great thing about computer security is that by looking out for yourself, you help everyone else at the same time.
It’s true the other way around, too: if you behave carelessly online, you may put your friends, your family, and even complete strangers directly into the firing line of cyber-crooks.
For example, if you get infected by ransomware, the crooks will hold your data hostage, and you may end up paying them £200 to get the data back, which makes it sound as though malware prevention is all about saving yourself.
But most malware infections aren’t ransomware.
Most malware is some sort of bot or zombie: a malicious program used by crooks so they can send commands to your computer from the other side of the world. (Bot is short for “robot,” because your computer ends up blindly following orders from someone else.)
The crooks will almost certainly dig around on your computer to find out if you have anything interesting for them to steal, such as passwords or account details, which clearly puts you at direct risk.
But your home computer is probably full of information about other people, too: pictures, email addresses, phone numbers, perhaps even information from work about customers or colleagues.
Even if the crooks who infected your computer aren’t interested in all that information for future cybercrimes of their own, it has value to them because they can sell it on to other crooks.
Additionally, once cybercriminals have got what they want from your hard disk, they will turn outwards, using your computer as a springboard to attack other people.