Internet Safety and Security are not mutually exclusive.
We have spent over sixteen years investigating and responding to computer security incidents and computer-based crimes. We performed these investigations for very large corporations, small businesses, individual users, as part of enforcement agencies and with consulting firms. While on this journey we were often asked by friends and family to assist when computer issues arose or to provide advice on helping make home computers and networks more secure.
Having been involved in the investigation of crimes against younger and older Internet users, we observed the strong connection between Internet Security and Internet Safety. It is sometimes the case that these topics are treated separately but government education resources and other interest groups are starting to produce materials that promote and acknowledge this relationship.
These resources often provide ‘best practice’ guides to improve or maintain the security of devices connected the Internet but not many actually delve into how to achieve the tasks in a guided or ‘step by step’ way. This is what we observed as a current ‘gap’ in the broad ‘awareness’ messaging and the actual application of the strategies contained in the advice.
Managing and maintaining secure passwords; ensuring software is configured securely and updated regularly; updating the ‘firmware’ on a router. These can all seem like daunting subjects unrelated to the safety of a child or adult using the Internet but the truth is these are fundamental to achieving that goal.
Internet Safety and Internet Security are not mutually exclusive, that is to say, that safety comes not just from the usual things like supervision and parenting but also from ensuring that Internet access and computers in the home are managed.
We believe that managing the security of devices connected to the Internet is not the sole domain of highly trained IT Security staff, it is also a responsibility for you, for me, for all users.