Internet Safety using Mozilla Firefox web browserToday I was interviewed by Lotus FM part of the SABC in Durban, South Africa. Lotus FM is targeted at the Indian market through their cultural focussed programming content. So it was a real surprise they called me to discuss Safer Internet Day. This takes place on the second day of the second week of the second month, every year. So in 2013 Safer Internet Day will be on Tuesday, 5 February.

Some of the issues we discussed were as follows:

  1. Legal Framework in South Africa: We have several laws that govern Internet and mobile usage. They are the Electronic Communications and Transaction Act (2002), the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (2002), The Film & Publications Board Amendment Act (2009). There’s also a Privacy Bill on the cards.
  2. Internet Usage Policies: You must protect yourself by carefully reading the Social Media & Internet policies before signing them. I suspect cases will go to court where staff can claim coercion from management on signing these agreements.
  3. Online Privacy: You must be vigilant when downloading apps or signing up for profiles or competitions on the Internet. To keep safe, start using a separate email address not used for business; consider using a fake cellphone number when you’re not sure what they will do with your private information. Companies are becoming more and more negligent with your personal data, so you must take matters into your own hands where possible.

The best possible advice I offer people is to stop creating new profiles, downloading new apps and master what they’re using already. Whenever I look at the online behaviour I find people make mistakes because of ignorance or lack of experience. So it’s important to really master what you already have installed on your Smartphone or laptop before you get into the habit of installing new applications. Someone recently claimed to have over 100 apps on his Smartphone, the majority being games. This is one example of the extreme dependence we have in the current mode of living.

Below is a brief video with a short overview on what Safer Internet Day is all about.