When we hear the term ‘online safety’ it can make us think of many different things. To some people, keeping safe online may just involve installing the latest software update on our phones. It might be ensuring that we have appropriate security software on our computers, or making sure our passwords are easy to remember, but tough to crack. While these are important, a lot of practices fall into two separate camps; online safety and cyber-security. Although they are closely related, there are significant differences between the two. Take a look below at the difference between online safety and cyber-security.
What is Cyber-Security?
To put it simply, cyber-security relates to the measures we put in place to protect our devices. This could be installing security software or updating our devices on a regular basis. Cyber-security attempts to protect against common online attacks such as malware or viruses. Due to the common and often aggressive occurrences of these, it is advisable for devices to have some form of cyber-security in place to help protect user’s data. Without it, users can more often than not find themselves victim to online attacks with potentially more damaging consequences. Users can address cyber-security through:
- Utilising cyber-security software
- Updating devices where applicable
- Learning about cyber-security through training
What is Online Safety?
Online safety relates to how we as individuals protect ourselves from harm online. The term in fact encompasses a far broader topic which considers the appropriate approach towards personal safety when navigating online spaces. Online safety can be the way in which we are aware of potential threats and how we ensure we don’t fall victim to them. It is often our own knowledge around how we appropriately protect ourselves when online. Online safety can relate to:
- How we choose to protect our data (e.g. passwords)
- How we appropriately respond to online attacks (e.g. phishing)
- How we avoid harmful or illegal online content
- How we choose to present ourselves online (e.g. reputation/ personal information)
- How we interact and engage with others online
Addressing Online Safety
While it may seem like a lot more, users can still address online safety through a number of different ways. Some of these include:
- Keeping up to date on topics, trends and news relating to online safety
- Knowing how to report and critically think around harmful online material
- Being aware of what measures are involved within the Online Safety Bill
- Knowing how to respond and recover from online attacks
- Being vigilant and aware of what online threats may appear
If you want to learn more about cyber-security or online safety, you can visit our website to get appropriate training on both. Depending on what level of training you are after, we offer bespoke options for a range of different audiences who work with children and young people.