Safer Internet Day 2019, web, social and email security

Today is Safer Internet Day 2019, an event that promotes proper use of the Net. Here's how to do to protect your data on the web, social and email

Computer security has now become a topic of daily debate. It is increasingly difficult to protect your personal information in an era when we spend most of our time on the Net. Between work emails, social platforms, online services, it's hard not to be connected to the Internet. Even hackers are aware of the new habits of Italians and are always looking for new ways to steal personal information to resell on the dark web.

The most exposed to the risks of the Net are the new generations, who do not have a thorough knowledge of computer security and are reluctant to use protection systems. For this reason, since 2004, the European Union has established the Safer Internet Day, a day dedicated to computer security and to educate young people about the dangers of the web. In Italy the event is curated by the Ministry of Education, University and Research in collaboration with the Department for Family Policies and conferences are organized throughout Italy on issues of online safety, cyberbullying and risks present on the Web.

What is the Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day is an event organized by the European Union since 2004 to raise awareness among young people and older to use the Internet consciously. At a time when the first approach with the network occurs during early childhood, it is necessary to educate children in the proper use of computers and smartphones, tools that have become commonplace. Safer Internet Day takes place on the second day of the second week of February. This year it falls on February 5, 2019.

In Italy, Safer Internet Day is curated by the Ministry of Education, University and Research with the collaboration of the Department for Family Policies. The events and conferences are curated by Generazioni Connesse, a consortium that unites several public bodies, educational institutions, universities and NGOs active in the defense of children's rights. The main event will be held in Milan, but conferences will be organized throughout Italy on the theme chosen by the Ministry of Education: to create a pact between schools and families to raise awareness among young people about the use of the Web.

How to protect data on the web

We spend most of our day on the Internet. Between work email, social platform and entertainment, the web has become a fundamental pivot in our lives. On the Net we share all our personal information: name, address, bank account number, pictures, videos and work documents. That is why it is necessary to protect personal data using the most advanced computer security systems.

For example, use a password manager to save security keys for social profiles, email addresses and online platforms. Password manager is a free application that uses advanced cryptographic systems to protect your emails and make them unusable for hackers. In addition, password managers also offer a service to generate complicated security keys.

We also recommend that you constantly update the browser you use to browse. The companies that develop applications for surfing the Internet release monthly updates that affect the security and privacy of users. The same goes for the antivirus software you have installed on your PC or smartphone: update it frequently to be protected from the new dangers of the Net.

How to protect your social account

The latest research by We Are Social on Internet use shows that Italians spend just under two hours a day on social networks, a sign that they have become a central pivot in our lives. On social networks we share images, videos and personal information, data that if they end up in the wrong hands could endanger the privacy of our loved ones.

Our advice is to carefully check the privacy settings of each social network. After the scandal that hit Facebook last year, social platforms have taken action by offering users more control over their data. On Facebook, for example, you can block strangers from viewing your posts, while on Instagram you can make your account Private and obscure the images you post.

If you're afraid that a hacker might gain access to your social account, we suggest you turn on two-factor authentication, a system that forces you to enter two different security keys when trying to access a profile from a different device. How does two-step verification work? Very simple: when you access your profile you use the password you chose during registration, but in addition you'll also have to enter a PIN code that will be sent to your smartphone or email address. This makes it impossible for a hacker to steal your social profile. Two-factor authentication can be activated on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To protect your data on social, be careful about the messages you receive as well. In many cases, hackers send messages with fake accounts with the intention of obtaining personal data. Delete the message and report the account.

How to protect email 

The email address has become one of the most important things in a person's online life. Through email we send and receive dozens of important documents with personal information which should not get into the wrong hands. Hackers try all sorts of ways to get access data of users' email addresses. One of the most used tactics are the email phishing. These are emails sent from email addresses that appear to be those of government agencies, but differ by a letter or a dot and where the user is asked to click on a link or respond by sending their personal documents. Unfortunately, there are many who fall into these traps. How do you protect your email? Enable two-factor authentication. Libero Mail, for example, offers this feature to its users.

To add an extra level of security to your Libero email you can activate the "Secure Password" feature: once inside your account click on the lock at the top right, then on the "Secure Password" item and follow the wizard. During the configuration phase, the user can choose whether to receive the PIN on their cell phone number, or use the Google Authenticator app to generate the codes directly from the smartphone. To discover Libero Mail's Secure Password click here.