We live in an information age of mass communication and information technology. From computers to mobile phones, text messaging to social networks, we all use a variety of devices to access this new technological arena.
It is difficult to remember a time before the internet. The internet is one of the greatest inventions of modern times and it is hard to imagine a world without this information superhighway. From the way we receive our news and keep in touch with family and friends, the internet plays a vital role in the world of business, commerce and entertainment. While this new medium of communicating is immensely useful, there are many dangers lurking online.
What is Internet Safety?
The online world has many dangers just like the offline world, and we need to be aware of the types of cybercrime that exist. This includes online fraud, cyberbullying and ID theft. Everyone should take steps to safeguard themselves from these dangers.
Some of the problems and dangers that exist on the internet include:
- Spam email — unwanted, nuisance email — usually trying to sell something.
- Malware — malicious software such as computer viruses, Trojans and worms.
- Spyware — programs that spy on your movements when online.
- Website hacking and hijacking — taking control of a website.
- Online scams — criminals posing as legitimate businesses for financial gain.
- Phishing — fraudulent attempts to steal personal information.
Young people are particularly susceptible to cyberbullying — bullying via any technological means such as social networks, chat rooms, emails, text messages etc. Cyberbullying includes name-calling, insults and taunts right through to physical assaults which are uploaded to websites. Cyberbullies will often use fake profiles to escape detection. All incidents of cyberbullying should be reported and dealt with firmly and swiftly, as with offline bullying.