Channel NewsAsia

Today's the day for Internet security

While it may seem quite obvious how security can be maintained online, most of us are still guilty of taking shortcuts that need a spot-check especially on 11 February, which is Safer Internet Day.

Singapore: While most Singaporeans are quite tech savvy, most are also surprisingly wary of just how safe the internet is.

When it comes to online shopping, a Nielsen study has found that more than half of the some 500 Singaporean surveyed would prefer not to use their credit or debit cards even if the device they use could safely store their payment card details.

This is much lower than the global average of 54 per cent.

One solution said Nielsen, is education on safety.

And that's reason enough to pay extra attention on 11 February, which is Safer Internet Day (SID).

Starting as an EU SafeBorders initiative in 2004, the project to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones has grown worldwide under the Insafe network.

For 2014, the SID theme is "Let's create a better internet together".

Pitching in to effort, Google has offered helpful suggestions to some often-overlooked practices, such as keeping your operating system and browser up-to-date.

In the case of Google Chrome, users can also turn on an added feature called 'incognito windows'.

"This is very useful if you're using a public computer at an internet cafe or sharing your computer" said a Google spokesman who also pointed out that webpages that have been opened and files that were download, aren't recorded in the browsing or download history. 

In the age of social media, it's important to check your settings to protect your privacy and security when sharing content.

As security expert Avira warned in one of its blog "these days, cyber criminals aren’t only after our computers’ resources and our financial information. They can make a serious profit by hacking into our social media accounts.

"That’s why it’s important to know how to properly protect our online assets against them."

Finally, what usually proves to be the weakest link and the cause for all undoing - passwords.

"One way to create (and remember) a complex password is to think of a phrase or sentence (perhaps the lyrics to a song you like?) and use the first letter of each word to create the password.

Or think of places you’ve lived, and spell them backwards" offered Google.

And if your password is "password" or numbers in a sequence - guess what - it's the most obvious.

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