Online Safety

Online Safety: Protecting Yourself in a Digital World

With a rise in working from home, ensuring your online safety is more crucial than ever. Just as safeguarding protects vulnerable individuals from harm in the physical world, understanding and practicing online safety is essential for your digital well-being and security.

Why Online Safety Matters

Online safety isn’t just about protecting your personal information; it’s about safeguarding your identity, privacy, and mental well-being. From cyberbullying to identity theft, the risks of navigating the online world are diverse and ever-present. By understanding the signs of online abuse and knowing how to report concerns, you can play an important role in promoting a safe online environment for yourself and others.

Types of Harmful Content Online: (from SWGfl)

Harmful content is anything online which causes a person distress or harm. What may be harmful to one person might not be considered an issue by someone else, but we generally talk about eight types of harmful content:

  1. Online Abuse
  2. Bullying or Harassment
  3. Threats
  4. Impersonation
  5. Unwanted Sexual Advances (Not Image Based)
  6. Violent Content
  7. Self-Harm or Suicide Content
  8. Pornographic Content

Below are some key tips to staying safe online, according to Stern Security. (click to enlarge)

Online Safety Tips Graphic

New Online Safety Act

What is the new legislation and how might it affect you?

The Online Safety Act 2023 is new UK legislation which is designed to create greater Online Safety from:

  • User to User organisations (eg Facebook, TikTok, Wikipedia, Discord etc, so, social media, chat rooms, online gaming, data sites, discussion forums)
  • Search Engines (such as Google, Bing, Firefox, Alexa and Siri)
  • Online Service Providers where pornography may be displayed. Regulated by OFCOM, fines of up to £18 million, or 10% of turnover, could be issued for companies not complying.

New offenses include:

  • Cyber Flashing
  • Intimate Image Abuse
  • Death Threats
  • False Information
  • Zac’s Law – relating to sharing information that can cause an epileptic seizure

What to do if you would like to report an online safety offence:

  • If someone advises you of a cyber flashing incident or sharing of photos/recordings, do NOT open the photo/recording – it is important to preserve the dignity of the complainant.

Useful links