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These days, internet safety and cyber security have become major topics in political, business, and criminal investigation forums. However, most people don't realize that cyber security and internet safety aren't totally the same thing.
While cyber security does play a certain role in internet safety, the truth is that internet safety is a lot more than just making sure your personal information stays safe online. (You can read more about what cyber security is here.)
Internet safety, though, is cyber security along with also using common sense to avoid having serious repercussions in real life. Here's what you need to know about internet safety — and tips on how to stay safe.
What is Internet Safety?
Internet safety is using practices and software to make sure that both you and your personal information stay safe. It's making sure that your online adventures don't end up hurting you in the long run.
In a nutshell, internet safety is using common sense and widely available knowledge to make sure you don't fall victim to a crime. So, while there are elements of cyber security in it, it's not entirely a "tech" thing.
What is Internet Safety made of?
Internet safety is a little bit common sense, a little bit of investing in cyber security gear, and a little bit of proper IT work. Overall, it's any time that you make a step to keep yourself and your computer safe on the net.
Things like getting a good firewall, installing anti-virus software, and going to sites that aren't shady all, are parts of internet safety you need to master. On a similar note, not telling friends your password and learning what's appropriate to post online are also aspects of internet security.
Heck, even knowing to avoid the Dark Web or knowing how to use Tor for privacy is part of internet safety. So, it's a combination of hard computer skills and soft human skills.
What is Internet Safety good for?
It's good for keeping yourself (and your property) safe, and practicing good internet safety also can help you learn important interpersonal skills in some situations.
For example, much of internet safety is learning to be sure that someone is actually who they claim to be when you're chatting with them. It's learning to say "no" when people beg you for your password, or try to badger you into doing things that could put you at risk.
It's also great for learning social skills, to a point. After all, trolling the wrong person or threatening the wrong person can easily turn into a major online backlash. You don't want to have an angry online mob on you, so playing nice is a smart choice.
Moreover, if you think about it, internet safety can also teach you tact. People have gotten fired or expelled for things they've written online. So, if you practice internet safety, you'll also learn to keep certain opinions to yourself.
What is internet security? Simply put, it's street smarts applied to the internet — and making sure that you stay safe while surfing the net.