Tuesday, February 5 is Safer Internet Day. Google celebrated this year by updating their Good to Know page and offering many suggestions to help people who are on social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter protect their account information and take steps to avoid becoming victims of hackers and spammers.
As Joanna Stern of ABC's Good Morning America pointed out in an article published on Monday, February 4, in the past six months over 6.4 million LinkedIn accounts were compromised and Twitter has been attacked several times. Recently, approximately 250,000 Twitter accounts were hacked.
Incidents such as these help point out why there is a need for Safer Internet Day.
On February 5, Samantha Murphy of Mashable shared several of Google's tips with her readers.
According to Murphy, "Google has... added 10 tips from Google Security experts that every Internet user should follow. Here's a look:
"Use a long, unique password made up of numbers, letters and symbols for each of your important accounts like email and online banking.
"Don’t send your password via email, and don’t share it with others.
"Set up your password recovery options and keep them up-to-date.
"Avoid scams - don’t reply if you see a suspicious email, instant message or webpage asking for your personal or financial information.
"Report and flag content that is abusive or illegal.
"Frequently check your privacy and security settings, and customize how you want to share your content.
"Be mindful of your digital reputation — think twice before you post something embarrassing, harmful or inappropriate.
"Keep your device’s browser and operating system up-to-date. When you do install software, make sure you’re getting the software from a trusted source.
"Pay close attention when asked to sign in online. Check to see if the web address begins with https:// — which signals that your connection to the website is encrypted and more resistant to snooping or tampering.
"Always lock your screen when you're finished using your computer, tablet or phone, and for added security, set it to lock automatically when it goes to sleep."
Google's Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering Alma Whitten had more advice for people who use Google services such as Gmail or Google+.
According to Whitten, "We know staying safe online is important to you—and it is important to us too. Please take some time today to make your passwords stronger and turn on 2-step verification to protect your Google account. Talk with friends and family about Internet safety. And visit our new Good to Know site to find more tips and resources to help you stay safe online."