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The Shared Responsibility as Digital Citizens - Checking in on a Friend

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

HomeBy Chetrice Mosley Romero

It is one thing to constantly educate yourself with ongoing cyber changes and updates, but it is an even greater responsibility as a digital citizen to take others' actions and decisions online into account as well.

Forbes dives into this shared responsibility of digital privacy and cybersecurity by comparing individuals who confidently drive to the airport without wearing a seatbelt, but then worry the plane they will be boarding may crash. Similarly, when we are online there is a combination of things we can and cannot control. Most often times, the opportunities we are in control of can truly make or break our overall safety.

As digital citizens, we can use today, National Best Friends Day, to start the conversation and make sure our loved ones are aware of the many dangers the internet can pose, along with the circumstances that are in our hands and the precautions that can be taken.

Friendship is not only a choice, but a reliable relationship based on a mutual understanding, love, and respect. A study by Microsoft revealed that four in 10 American teens sought help from a friend because of a negative experience online. All told, 813 teens and 809 parents of teens were polled. Friends can be the most valuable resource because they are willing and able to actively listen, allowing safety check-ins to truly resonate.

Regardless of sharing helpful information and concerns with either virtual or real friends, it is important to always stay alert and cautious; especially when engaging in social networks because of its significance in our everyday lives of connection and interaction. ACA Compliance offers helpful cyber conversation starters to have with your loved ones, including:

  • Understanding where personal information can be shared online
  • How to identify phishing and vishing scams, and knowing the protocol as a victim
  • Staying on top of software updates and patches because they are constantly changing
  • Getting access to endpoint protection and/or antivirus software
  • Knowing when to avoid or engage in software downloads
  • Using Wi-Fi security at at home and in public places
  • Characteristics of strong passwords and enabling multi-factor authentication
  • Protecting your data with internet-connected device security
  • Properly disposing of old devices that hold personal information

Every day, individuals are actively choosing to believe that cybersecurity attacks will not happen to them personally. It is important to recognize that personal decisions online really do contribute to the overall safely of all individuals behind their screens. Although we may not be able to control everything that occurs on the internet, we can be a good friend today and everyday by checking in and decreasing potential online threats.

It is more crucial than ever before to check in on your loved ones and befriend cybersecurity as a way to help protect those close to you whenever they're online. For additional information, visit the Indiana Cybersecurity Hub for the latest cyber news, resources, and trends, check out our cyber tips page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.